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Keeping a Lid on Exam Stress

August 3, 2017

Since exam season is just around the corner, we wanted to share some ideas that may help keep stress from getting the better of you:

1. Let go of things outside your control

We have the most control over our internal environment, our thoughts, feelings, and decisions. Trying to let go of things outside of our control, such as other people and circumstances, can help liberate us from the stress of trying to control the world around us.


2. Spend as little as a few minutes in the present

Taking a few moments daily to be present in the moment can help to reduce the stress of high intensity mental activity. Allowing yourself to notice your surroundings, your breath and your body in your physical space may give your mind the mini break it needs to continue working productively.

* The campus gym currently offers free yoga classes for staff and students:


3. Do something nice for yourself

This one is super easy because there are probably lots of nice things we’d like to be doing! Pick a few things that won’t derail your study time and thoroughly enjoy them. Some personal favourites of mine are taking a long hot shower, grabbing a delicious coffee on the way to the library and staring out the window for a few minutes to clear my head. Pick a treat for yourself and enjoy it!


4. Recognise how hard you’re working

Getting a degree takes a lot of very hard work – we don’t just trip over them in the park, so go easy on yourself as you’re putting in the hard yards. A mindset that’s kindly towards yourself will be much better for your mental health and self-esteem than a degrading, diminishing one.


These ideas in this article were found in books here in our very own library and online:

  1. Kidman, A. (2011). Staying sane in the fast lane : Emotional health in the 21st century. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Biochemical and General Services.
  2. Schafer, W. (2000). Stress management for wellness (4th ed.). Fort Worth: Harcourt College.
  3. Rosenthal, M. (2001). 50 ways to prevent and manage stress. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.
  4. Lively, L. (1999). The procrastinator's guide to success. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  5. Michalik, B. (2015) Motivational Jiu-Jitsu: Staying Positive in the Face of Negativity & Indifference. Retrieved from