By Sunita Nagpal:
It is that time of the year when board results are due. A month ago it was the pre-exam stress and now it is the post exam stress. It was about tricky questions, peer and parental pressures, leading to self-imposed stress. Now it is about admissions, selection processes, reservations, rising expectations and fierce competition. All put together, it sure is enough to keep the kettle boiling!
Psychologists today are working on overdrive. Any guesses why this wasn’t the case a decade ago? We allowed life to happen! Many students nowadays suffer from anxiety and traumatic disorders. Inability to cope with fierce competition can be overwhelming. Does the problem lie with us? It must be remembered that stress is a part of life and needs to be managed in order to be healthy and happy. Children must be taught to stretch themselves mentally, socially and physically, to bust stress. This is the best time of their life. It’s a pity if they can’t enjoy and cherish the present before it becomes the past!
Board examination should be treated like any another examination. Keeping things in perspective is one of the most powerful ways of keeping your stress levels under control. In five years time, this will not be of so much of a concern, and regardless of the outcome, things will be okay anyway.
Keep a support network of parents, teachers or other caring adults. Releasing fumes and getting support by discussing fears is critical. Be resilient to stressors and have an optimistic attitude. Don’t be afraid to drop friends or even helpline numbers a message when you feel unsure or insecure. Many a time, written communication works where verbal communication becomes a challenge.
Look after yourself particularly when you are feeling under pressure. Eating properly helps your brain function at its best. Don’t drink too much caffeine and resist the temptation to eat junk food. Get good sleep and always smile to yourself and others. Feel alive!
Don’t discuss the exam with others, now that it is over. Discussing what you did and didn’t do isn’t productive and can make you feel more stressed. Don’t dwell on it, move on.
Give 100% support to your kids. One of the best things parents can do if their child is experiencing stress is to try to be as supportive and tolerant as possible. Let life run normally. If required, talk to the counsellors and teachers of your school.
Spend quality time and talk to children about their needs, their interests and note signs of anxiety. Jittery students, or those who can’t seem to sit still, are likely to be stressed. Doing breathing exercises with them would positively help them cope.
And if for some reason your child does not perform well in the exam, reassure him that this exam is not the end of the world. Assure your child that to study anywhere else in the country or abroad is always an option and sometimes it turns out to be a great one too!
So cheer up and look ahead! Life is full of beautiful surprises!
The author is the principal of DPS, Sushant Lok.