Ways to stay calm and reduce anxiety the day before results day

stay calm exam results

Stress has a way of building up as results day approaches. It's fine and natural to have butterflies in your stomach, but you don't want stress to get on top of you. Sometimes the day before results day can seem the longest day of your life. You're so close to opening your results envelope, yet so far!

These anxiety reduction tips can help you the day before, but you can use them in the run-up to exam results as well.

Get organised

Have you got everything you need for results day? Tick off these 4 things to do before results day and that's one less thing to worry about. Organising in advance will keep you busy and help you feel more in control.

Stay busy, social and productive

Sitting around constantly checking your phone sometimes isn't the best way of coping with stress. Today may not be the day you need to see all the terrible things happening in the world via social media. So make a plan to stay busy and have fun on the day before results day! Ask to have a family day trip, go bowling, bake some treats in the kitchen or see a film at the cinema. You may want to arrange some quality time with friends if you think it might help with results day stress.

It sounds wild, but the day before results day is a good time to tidy your room, offer to help babysit, wash up and sort your wardrobe. These things are more fun than they sound once you get started. They can help you feel in control, and they take your mind off things so your brain isn't acting like a stuck record. Feeling productive can be a great way to give yourself a break from any thoughts that are bothering you.

Nourish your body and mind

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can help you be your best self, because you are mostly made of water. It can help you calm down and focus on what's in front of you, as well - that's why driving instructors often make sure their students bring water to a driving lesson.

What you eat can help you with your mood, too. See our guide to food that can help to reduce stress and keep you alert.

Get active, not passive

Getting active very much depends on your level of physical ability. You know your body best. However, physical activity is a great way to make the mind and body work together, instead of letting your mind race off in the wrong direction like a lost racehorse. Physical activity keeps you busy and it can help to release feelgood endorphins. In many cases, physical activity means you get outside and a change of surroundings can do wonders for soothing nerves.

Ideas for physical activity:

  • Venting your frustrations at the gym
  • Doing yoga at home (you'll find lots of free Youtube videos to help you out, and you don't need any fancy kit)
  • Walking the dog
  • Going for a run (if this sounds boring, you can try the free Zombies, Run app)

Stress relieving techniques

If you are feeling blue before results day or experiencing more anxiety than feels comfortable, perhaps these stress relieving techniques could help?

  • Try this breathing exercise from Birmingham City University
  • Try some colouring in. It will help you feel creative and can be quite soothing, like doodling.
  • Does water make you feel calm? A bath or shower can soothe you and leave you feeling fresh inside and outside.
  • If you like hot drinks, a cup of non-caffeinated tea can help you relax. The warmth, the taste and the repeated sipping can all help you feel a little less nervous.

People to call if you need help

If you are really, really stressed or anxious and need someone to talk to? Picking up a phone to talk to someone you don't know can seem like a weird thing to do, but if you're feeling properly stressed, talking can help. Especially with someone who is trained to talk to you and won't judge you in any way.

  • Childline provides help for anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. 0800 1111
  • Anxiety UK is a user-led organisation that supports anyone with anxiety, phobias, panic attacks or other anxiety-related disorders. 03444 775 774 or text 07537 416 905
  • Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop.
  • Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 116 123
  • Breathing Space is a free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. 0800 83 85 87
  • Young Scot, an information & opportunities service for young people in Scotland, have put together some really useful resources to help you deal with #ExamResults.

Whatever happens, you've got this. Make it your mission to enjoy your summer and have fun on the day before you get your results!

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