UPSC aspirants are often seen to get stressed, especially when the preliminary exam dates start approaching. The year-long preparations and the unending quench to clear the exams often pushes them into a pool of stress. Is it natural? Yes. But can it be managed? Absolutely yes! Stress in a moderate amount can help motivate the aspirants to work hard and achieve more. But, beyond a certain limit, continuous stress can pose health risks and may become an exhausting burden for the candidates. At Chinmaya IAS Academy, we understand the anxiety and stress you go through when you start preparing for the coveted IAS exams. That is exactly why the experts at our IAS training institute in Chennai has curated some of the best stress management tips to beat the exam heat.
What is Exam Stress? How to Identify It?
Stress is the human body’s reaction to a situation it finds challenging. It is completely normal, and all of us do go through it due to various reasons. Stress in the right amounts can help to sharpen the reflexes and mind. It can push the body to perform better or even help to escape in a dangerous situation. But, you need to find the cause of the stress and understand whether it has gone beyond the acceptable levels. Here are some of the symptoms that you are under exam stress:
- Frequent headaches
- Heartburn, indigestion
- Flushed skin
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Unusual weight gain or weight loss
- Muscle aches
- Flushed skin
You might also experience emotional and cognitive symptoms like:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Getting depressed
- Impaired concentration
- Anxious feelings/thoughts
- Trouble coping with usual life issues
- Over-reaction to personal/professional situations
- Impaired judgement
- Unwanted thoughts
- Feeling of isolation
- Difficulty in remembering things
- Extreme pessimistic attitude
- Difficulty to enjoy things you used to love
If you experience any of the above symptoms, the chances are high that you are going through extreme levels of exam stress. You need to act now to start managing your stress so that your day to day activities, quality of life and, of course, the upcoming exam is not affected.
Smart Tips to Manage the IAS Exam Stress
Now, let us take a look at how you can effectively manage the above-listed IAS exam stress symptoms and face the exam confidently and with a clear mind.
Plan it First
The first step is to prepare a plan. Planning ahead can help to manage your exam preparations better and thereby reduce your stress levels. But, make sure that you prepare a realistic plan. Don’t go overboard and prepare a strenuous plan that will tire you out. Make sure that you add the dates for all language papers, GS papers, and optional subjects in the plan. Also, always keep a dedicated time every day to read the newspaper. Your plan should include long-term, middle-term, and short-term targets. Instead of making your exam preparation quantitative, try to make it qualitative.
Prepare A Study Timetable
Now that you have a proper plan in place, the next step is to prepare a timetable. Prepare a timetable for each day. Try to include more time for those subjects that are comparatively difficult for you. Also, keep the difficult ones for the morning and keep the easier ones for the evening so that you don’t get stressed much. Also, just preparing a timetable is not enough. You have to stick to it and follow it ardently. Unless there is an unavoidable reason, try to follow the timetable as planned. It will help as the days progress and the exam dates fast approach.
Many IAS aspirants make the common mistake of sleeping less or even skipping sleep so as to study more. Never do that. You have to understand that your body and mind needs adequate rest every day so that they can recharge and be ready for the next day. A lack of proper sleep will tire you out, leaving you drained of energy. Slowly, you will lose the will to study and will start feeling irritated and depressed. Hence, ensure that you sleep at least 6 to 7 hours daily. Understand the fact that sleep is not a waste of time. Instead, the right amount of sleep will only help to energise you and make you more focused on your studies.
Yoga is regarded as one of the most effective stress-busters ever. Practising yoga on a daily basis will help you not only in your UPSC preparation but also in your life ahead. Asanas like Anjali Mudra and Simhasana can help to tackle stress better. You can also practice meditation and breathing exercises like Pranayama on a daily basis. It will help you relax and feel stress-free. Yoga not only helps to manage your mental health, but also aids in keeping you fit and physically healthy.
Your body plays a huge role in combatting stress. Hence, ensure that you follow a healthy diet while preparing for your UPSC exams. Include more vegetables, fruits, and nuts in your daily diet. Steer clear of junk food and fried items. Junk food is also known to cause depression and obesity. You should make conscious efforts to eat healthy whenever you feel hungry. Even while going for quick snacks in between study breaks, try to opt for dry fruits or fresh fruits rather than munching on fried snacks.
Taking an adequate number of breaks is also a crucial part of your IAS exam preparation. If you feel overwhelmed or tired, take a break and try to divert your mind. Don’t force yourself to sit and study when your mind and body are completely worn out and exhausted. When the brain is tired, it won’t be able to soak in any more information. It needs to recharge, and a good break will help to relax it. If you take short breaks between your studies, your total efficiency levels will only increase.
Relax Your Mind and Be Prepared to Face Your IAS Exams
Follow the tips listed above and prepare for your upcoming IAS exams easily. Remember that stressing too much over anything will not help you much. Even while attending the exam, try not to be stressed in case you are unable to answer a question. Move to the next question and attempt the ones who know well. Skip the ones you don’t have an idea about. Also, making a few informed guesses is always a part of IAS exams. IAS might be a tough nut to crack, but proper preparation and a stress-free mind can help you crack the IAS easily! If you need any guidance for the same, we are all here to help you with it. Trust in your abilities and achieve your dreams.