It’s that time of year again- Christmas is just around the corner, and as exciting as that is, there’s something else looming on the horizon: exams. Whether you’re in secondary school or college, Christmas tests can be a seriously stressful time. Add to that potential Junior/Leaving Cert pres in February in the case of the former, and assignments and dissertation crunch in the case of the latter, and it can be easy to feel like you’re about to get snowed under.

But regardless of all the stress you might have on your plate, it’s always important to take some time to look after yourself and your mental wellbeing. With that in mind, here are just a few quick tips to help you mind yourselves over the next few months of study:

  1. Make sure you take regular study breaks. It might seem like it makes total sense to try to rush through everything you have to get done and just get it over with, but your body isn’t a machine and can’t keep functioning at high levels of stress for extended periods of time without collapsing in a heap. So even taking 5 minutes every hour or so to regulate yourself and recharge can make all the difference and actually help to keep you productive for longer.
  2. Find a study style that suits you. Not everyone learns in the same way, and sometimes the best way to pick up the information you need is to think outside the box a bit. Visual learners work really well with images, tables, etc., while auditory learners get the most out of hearing information told to them and kinaesthetic learners need to be moving about to keep themselves focused on a task. Whether it’s by doing out mind maps, recording yourself saying your notes and listening to them back or finding a room to pace around while you study, finding the right strategy will take a lot of the pressure off!
  3. Schedule up your day. One of the easiest ways to reduce stress in autistic people is to give them an exact plan around what’s going to happen. Try to plan out not just your study blocks, but exactly what you want to get covered in those blocks. This will give you real goals to reach and breaks down seemingly impossible mountains of work into easily manageable chunks.
  4. Finally, relax! Exams are just exams, and there is always another way to get to where you need to be. Stressing about them is normal but try not to get too bogged under. You’re awesome, and you’ve got this!

Good luck on your autism journeys over the Christmas period!