Study stressing you or your loved one out? You’re not alone. Many young people experience high levels of stress and anxiety during their final years of high school. Registered Psychologist Zoe Semmler shares some ideas on how to manage this challenging period and maintain wellbeing.

Study stressing you or your loved one out? You’re not alone. Many young people experience high levels of stress and anxiety during their final years of high school. It’s perfectly natural for you to want to do as well as you can or for your child to do as well as they can. The pressure of assessments, exams, ATARs and choices for the future can feel overwhelming. With HSC time around the corner, we would like to remind you that there are simple, practical things that you can put into place to feel more in control and minimise the stress that can come with this difficult exam period. Here are some ways to stay well, manage stress and get into the driving seat for your HSC year:

Gaining control: Establishing structure and balance with study
  • Break it down; if a task seems too overwhelming break it down into smaller steps. It is easier to motivate yourself to complete those smaller and more achievable sections.
  • Create a schedule, using apps or a diary. Scheduling in not only time for study but time for fun as well! Remember spending time with friends and loved ones will help to reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
  • Be specific with your goals in the schedule, ensure they are “smart” S = specific, M = measureable, A = achievable, R = realistic, T = timed (e.g. Monday 3 pm – 4 pm Maths study completing 10 equations from syllabus workbook)
  • Start small; often starting a task can be the most difficult part, sell it to yourself by completing it for a short time period that seems manageable e.g. 10 minutes. (Once 10 minutes has past you may feel motivated to do another 10 minutes.)
  • Prioritise: When scheduling, prioritise tasks in order, create a ‘To do list’ to help organise tasks from those most important to complete first and those that can be completed later.
navigating the hsc
Minimise stress:  Some simple tips
  • Regular exercise, a balanced diet and regular quality sleep will help to tackle stress levels and help you to be in the best place to succeed.
  • Build skills: The less stressed you are the clearer your brain can think. There are many helpful apps that can teach you skills to manage anxiety and stress such as Smiling Mind. Learning skills such as mindfulness and focussed breathing can help to reduce stress during exams.
  • In order to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed, ensure a study space as free from distraction as possible. Find a quiet space and place your phone out of view
  • Think Positive: Be mindful of your thoughts; challenge negative or critical thinking to a mindset of self-encouragement and motivation.
  • Reward yourself: Take small breaks and give yourself a reward to look forward to once you complete your study task (e.g. watching that next episode on Netflix)

For more tips and information for you or your child visit Beyond Blue has some great resources in their Youth section.

Also, keep an eye out for some great upcoming workshops we will be running for kids and parents on related topics such as managing anxiety. Like/follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep in the loop.

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