How to Destress During Exam Season 


Tea on coffee table
Photo by Sadiya Teeple 

The exam season takes a mental toll on everyone. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce stress and relax during this busy time.

“Feeling prepared going into an exam helps lower stress and anxiety significantly,” said MacGregor.

“If students are struggling with study skills, they can visit the Teaching and Learning Commons or book an appointment online for support with time management and study skills.”


These resources are free for Laurier students to utilize, and appointment slots open frequently.

“Sleep and rest are important. While it can be tricky, giving yourself time to rest can help ease anxiety and stress symptoms,” said MacGregor.

“Rest”, however, goes beyond sleeping.

Engaging in a hobby or activity that you enjoy, watching a movie/ show and even socializing with friends can hep you rest.

Ultimately, rest is anything that provides a break and helps you hit the “reset”.

Students should also ensure that they are eating healthy meals and taking time for mindful movement.

“Make sure you take time to eat throughout the day – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Giving your body some fuel, moving your body by going for walks and any form of exercise of yoga can boost your ability to focus for up to 2 hours,” said MacGregor.

MacGregor also stressed the need for students to have a period of time in their schedule for adequate relaxation in order to avoid burnout.

“Give yourself permission to take breaks. Oftentimes students talk about feeling guilty when they aren’t studying, and avoid taking breaks.”

However, giving your brain a rest can be an effective way to increase productivity.

“Taking breaks helps your focus, lowers stress and gives your mind and body a chance to rest and reset,” said MacGregor.

When taking breaks, students should give themselves grace.

“If those feelings of guilt creep in, notice your anxious thoughts and challenge them with more neutral, rational thoughts,” said MacGregor.

These thoughts include phrases such as “I deserve to take a break”, “taking a break will benefit my ability to focus and retain information”, or “I am not a robot, I need rest.”

“Sometimes getting support from others can be helpful,” said MacGregor.

The wellness centre plays an important role for the students as well.

“If students are struggling during exams, they are welcome to book an appointment with a counsellor ahead of time, or call/ walk-in to see if there are any same day appointments available. The centre is very much open during the exam period.”

Safety appointments for students experiencing a crisis and need immediate support are also avaliable.

These tecniques alongside courses at the wellness centre, such as Exam and Performance Anxiety can benefit those with exam anxiety.

Those interested can find out about these workshops and register on the Student Wellness Centre website.

“The Wellness Centre is offering counselling appointments in-person, or remotely by video or phone,” said MacGregor. “If a student has gone home for the exam period, they are able to access support from home as long as they are in Ontario.”

For those outside of the province, there are additional options.

“Outside of Ontario, we can help students look for appropriate services in their area if they need help over the holiday,” said MacGregor. “The centre will be closed while the university is closed, from Dec. 22- Jan. 1, and open again on Jan 2, 2024.”

To get in contact with the Student Wellness Centre, call 519.884.0710 x3146 or email

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