By WONG Lok Hang, Denis (Lee Shau Kee Hall)

After the busy mid-terms and assignment month of March, here come the examination months of April and May. The semester is coming to an end soon and finals are waving their hands to all of us. In this issue of ResLink, we will talk about stress and how to tackle exam stress.

Do you have stress?
Most people experience some sorts of stress. Stress can be very mild and you do not really notice it. Some sorts, however, can be severe and affect your daily life. Do you find it hard to fall asleep, even though the environment of the residence is ideal for study and rest? Do you feel cold when the classroom air-con is not even turned on? Do you feel moody or find it difficult to concentrate when you do revision? If your answer is “yes” for any of the above questions, you are probably under stress.

Okay, I am under stress. What can I do?
Stress affects us in two ways – physically and mentally. It can also be tackled both physically and mentally.
Stress harms our body. Prolonged stress has a negative impact on our immune system and leaves our body vulnerable to illnesses, such as colds.

So how to tackle stress physically?
One way of reducing the impact of stress is to eat the right kind of food. We do not mean eating healthy food with lots of nutrition. Instead, we are referring to “comfort food” – food that is calming. Bread and baked beans are good for you to start your day and get energized for the stressful day. Mashed potatoes, lettuce or other raw vegetables (if you are okay with uncooked vegies) keep you calm in the middle of the day. A cup of milk will surely give you a good night.

Also, exercise a bit. We are not asking you to do things like exercising for at least 30 minutes every day. We are, however, suggesting that you relax a bit without affecting your exam preparation. Do not always stick your body to your chair and do not treat yourself as a snail with your bed-study room as your shell. A 30-minute lunch/dinner break followed by a little walk around the residence area or Shek Kip Mei Park can help you feel refreshed and less stressful.

How about mentally?
To stay mentally healthy during the exam period, learn to focus. Have a well-planned revision schedule. Stick with it, so you know that you will have enough time for everything. Very often, people worry about not being able to finish this and that. If you plan ahead, you tend to worry less and your mind will not be too busy with different thoughts.
Finally, visualize your success. Sport psychologists have found that visualizing success can help athletes do better in competitions. This can be applied to your exams too. People often visualize failure in their exams and get very stressful. Be confident in yourself and success will be waiting for you.