Five ways to destress your tests.

A guide for managing anxiety


Brooke Newell, Reporter

As the school year comes to an end, McLean students are painfully aware of the upcoming tests before them. Finals week accompanied with the dreaded Advanced Placement exams are a toxic combination for students already under immense pressure. Unfortunately, the therapy dogs and frozen yogurt machine may not be enough to solve your stress. Here are five ways to ease the pain of the upcoming testing weeks.

Get more sleep. As much as students are partial to stay up the extra couple of hours to study, this actually negatively impacts your overall performance. With less sleep, you are unable to remember the information. Restless nights also cause muscle tension, which will make it harder to focus on your test. Instead of studying all night, get more sleep and feel well rested and prepared.

Exercise. The built up anxiety of the standards the students set for themselves tend to be the leading cause of stress. Instead of burning yourself out worrying, channel it through playing a sport, or simply walking outside. Exercise is the most common stress reliever because it was an outlet for all of your frustrations. Take a break from the worry, and catch a game of Frisbee.

Avoid caffeine. It is tempting to drink an energy drink, or a cup of coffee to give the extra push you need to study longer. However, caffeine acts as a stimulant, which would just increase stress levels rather than help. This would make studying counterproductive since stress levels are already heightened.

Chew a piece of gum. Chewing gum is proven to help you recall information. It also promotes blood flow to the brain, which decreases anxiety. Chewing gum reportedly gives off the brainwaves of more relaxed people, causing you to feel relaxed as well.

Light a candle. Scents such as rose and lavender are proven to work as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an outlet of decreasing stress and anxiety, and can also be done with essential oils. Another added bonus of this form of destress is that it supposedly improves sleep, perfect for the restless weeks of testing.