Almost all students would stand by the clichéd adage which states that all work and no play definitely makes Jack a dull boy. However, it is common to find parents and teachers challenging such maxims to be ill-fitting with the demands of contemporary education systems. With increasing competition and higher cut-off’s, the pressure on the academic performance of students is almost at an all-time high.

It is typical for students to be relatively relaxed at the beginning of the academic session, with the pressure adding on towards the middle or the end of the sessions when the exams are approaching. In fact, prior to the exams, it is not uncommon for the children to completely switch into a different mode altogether, cutting off internet and television connections, stopping all extra-curricular activities and drowning themselves into their books!

We need to learn to maintain a balance, not letting our exam and study stress permeate into our personal lives and vice versa, while at the same time ensuring to keep in mind the following steps to maintain our psychological well-being, right from the start of the next academic year. More so, these points should ideally be incorporated throughout the year, and not in extreme alternations in tandem with the exams.

1. Take regular breaks. It is important to keep aside some time for a recovery period along the way, to help replenish the energy being invested by you. This is not just a reward to give yourself for your efforts, but also a necessity for you to rejuvenate and take care of your own needs.

2. Make a study plan for the year. Typically, students tend to make a time table only when the exams are approaching, furthermore which almost always does not get implemented. Instead, it is important to plan your studies throughout the year, to ensure consistency and avoid last minute panic.

3. Prioritize. There will inevitably be times when you have too many things to be done. Rather than getting flustered, reorder the priorities in your head, striking off the less important or urgent ones and focussing on the present instead. At times like this, it’s important to take a step back and introspect on the reasons of our actions and why we want to achieve what we’ve wanted to.

4. Don’t adopt alternate routines. It is important to strike a balance, and not to have extremes in your routines and study patterns. For instance, extra-curricular activities should not be restricted during the exam seasons. Instead, they should be balanced appropriately throughout the year. Similarly, studying should not be restricted to the exam season, but be maintained consistently throughout the year.

5. Adopt healthy lifestyle choices. To ensure mental and physical health, you must include regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, and regular sleep to ensure that you can maintain the strength and stamina needed by you to fulfil your responsibilities.

6. Enjoy life. While it is easy to get trapped in the vicious cycle of a hectic routine, it is more important to remember to enjoy yourself. Look for opportunities to laugh at, and humour is a great way to lighten the mood and relieve your stress levels.

Remember, life is not only about working towards future – life is what is happening right now. The key to true contentment is to find the balance between the present and the future. Ensure that you enjoy yourself while working towards success, so you don’t have to sacrifice on your happiness for accomplishing your goals; you need to find a way to enjoy both.

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