Seven Ways To De-Stress Before A Big Test


Nothing fills a college student with more anxiety or dread than a big exam. The days and weeks leading up to a test – or, sometimes, a cluster of several tests – are fraught with stress and tension, and relaxing often seems impossible. Have no fear – if you’re looking to decompress, we have seven surefire ways to calm you down in the hours before a big test.

Eat a healthy breakfast.

We get it: Some people can’t eat when they feel stressed. But forcing yourself to have some oatmeal and fruit the morning of a big exam will serve you well in the long run by giving you the energy you need to tackle the toughest questions and curveballs.


You don’t need to be the Dalai Lama to get something out of meditating – and you definitely don’t need to spend hours in silence to be effective. Although meditation takes practice, spending just a few minutes quietly, focusing on your breath, can clear your mind. If you can’t seem to quiet your mind, repeat something over and over, like “universe, please direct my thoughts.” This will help remove distractions.


Going from stillness and quiet to activity might seem like living in extremes, but it can work. Exercise gets your endorphins going and helps you to relieve pent-up energy and stress. You’ll finish a work out feeling refreshed – and you’ll probably sleep better.

Go for a walk.

Being outside among nature, soaking in the sun and breathing in fresh air can do wonders for your psyche. Take a 30-minute walk and be sure to pet dogs and say hello to children for maximum de-stressing.

Take a warm shower or bath.

Warm water increases blood flow throughout the body, which can release tension in your muscles and help you to feel better overall. If you want to step it up a notch, get yourself a sweet bath pillow, some candles and bath salts, and play some Enya. You’ll forget all about how little you understand biochemistry.

Step away from the computer.

Although cramming might seem like the best way to jog your memory in the final minutes before a big exam, it can actually send you into a tizzy. Resolve to close your textbook and walk away from your computer screen for at least the last hour before the test.

Spend time with friends.

Taking a break from studying for a big test to hang out with friends might seem counterintuitive, but it can actually make you more productive. Talking things out with people you trust can give you some clarity and taking a break from thinking about studying can be even better in clearing your mind and helping to reboot your focus. As the old saying goes: Laughter is often the best medicine.