How to deal with stress

As we begin to edge closer to trials and the HSC exams, it is of the utmost importance that we take a step back and focus on the things that matter more than marks and studying and grades; our mental health. The HSC is a gruelling process for many and it takes a toll on those closest to you and you may not even realise it, it may have a taken a toll on you and you are struggling to cope with the workload, assessments, exams, revising, memorising, and everything else in your hectic schedule. When we realise that things arent working out how we want them to or things out of our control have thrown a spanner in the works, we panic and become upset so lets figure out how to deal with these emotions.


First things first, if you are stressed, look at the bigger picture, it may be hard to do so considering what’s going on in your life, but this single mindset can revolutionise your perspective and change your way of thinking, allowing your brain and your heart to take a breather and be reassured that not all is lost. In the grand scheme of things the HSC isn’t all that important and I know that, right now, that phrase means nothing at all to you but I want you to learn from my experience and from the experience of others. The amount of people I went to school with who ended up in similar positions as me with much lower ATARS than mine made me reconsider why I tried so hard in the HSC. As a matter of fact, a majority of my peers who decided they didn’t care about the HSC are currently the most successful people I know. The message of this is that there is always another way or pathway you can take if the HSC doesn’t go to plan and if the HSC is just a pain in your backside and not working out at all, it’s probably a sign that there are better things to come if you’re willing to work hard and put in the hours in another field. The HSC isn’t the be-all end-all of your existence, it’s just a hurdle you have to overcome.


If you’re feeling stressed because you are falling behind with homework, assessments, or studying then it means we need to use our emotions as fuel to make up for lost time. Whenever you fall behind, it can almost always be attributed to poor self-control =, so force yourself to switch things up. Create a schedule, abandon social media, prioritise your work, search up methods of studying productively if you can’t sit down for long periods of time. Get into the habit of practising responses/questions, ask for feedback and apply it whenever you can, try to exercise when you can (proven by research to increase levels of dopamine in your system, thus ensuring your happiness isn’t sucked away by the HSC), make necessary sacrifices to ensure you can catch up and excel. The most important aspect to consider is that, although you must prioritise your studies, never neglect your happiness. If you need to see friends, go see them. If you want to go out and know that it wont impact your ability to catch up or study, go out and enjoy yourself. If you want to study with a friend who you know will help you, go for gold. Do everything possible in your power to better yourself and improve your skills to ensure that the HSC is a breeze come final exam time. 


Finally, if you find yourself crawling into bed at night, questioning if its worth it, becoming upset more frequently, more easily annoyed by others, finding less enjoyment in the things and activities you normally love, don’t be afraid to reach out to a parent, teacher or services like beyondblue and Kids helpline. Everyone you know who cares about you, even if they only care for you a little bit, will want to listen to your story and will want to help so give them the chance to help you. Remember, your health comes first, so protect and prioritise yourself at all times and try your best to do your best regardless of the outcome!

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