To a student preparing for the board exam, solving a Sudoku puzzle, or playing a sport, may seem to be distractions. However, these activities could be the best way to beat the exam blues.
Stress and anxiety, which exams bring in abundance, can often be beaten with extra-curricular activities. Health experts advise that such activities keep the mind fresh and fit.
“Exams and the peer pressure involved prove to be a nightmare for most students. Hobbies and activities help to de-stress,” said Dr Niyati Chitalia, an Ayurvedic practitioner and counselor.
Dr Chitalia also warns against studying without a break for hours together, and suggested a 20-40 minute break after every few hours of studying.
“It is necessary for the brain to get some rest as well. Students tend to feel cooped-up indoors. They should go for a short jog, or play a sport. Sweat acts as a detoxifier, flushing out toxins that cause nervousness and stress,” she said.
“However, if students feel that physical activities tire them, they can play a quick game of chess, Monopoly, Pictionary, Sudoku or even Solitaire to freshen the mind,” she added.
If you’re still not convinced, or the thought of putting your books away for even a short while seems terrifying, it would help to know that many previous board exam toppers were not quite the quintessential bookworms.
Anisha Motwani, 16, who topped the Secondary School Certificate exams last year, scoring a 100%, ensured she incorporated a few hours of table tennis to her daily routine, to beat the exam stress. “I have always been a table tennis player and continued to play even while studying for the exams. I would play for close to two hours, and it helped me relax and stay fresh while studying. It also helped me concentrate better,” said Motwani, who studies at Saraswati Education Society, Thane.
Teachers agree that taking a break from books and taking up activities that exercise the mind can reap good results. Sangeeta Dumane, a mathematics teacher at Kapole Vidyanidhi International School in Kandivli, suggests that students can take a different approach to the subject that they most dread. “The maths exam is one of the most feared. Instead of fretting over theorems and formulae, it is important for students to develop an interest in solving problems. This can be done by solving quizzes and puzzles daily to make the mind sharper,” said Dumane.