Exam Time? Managing Stress With Manual Therapy

Exam time can be the most stressful part of every semester. It’s easy to get caught up in late night study sessions, classes and assignments and let taking care of yourself fall by the wayside.

However, neglecting your self-care can actually have a detrimental effect on your exam performance and health all because of increased stress.

So, how do you manage your stress during exam season?

Exam Stress Releasing Tips and Techniques by Fortis Healthcare

Get Some Sleep

Yeah, yeah, we know, easier said than done.

While you may know how important sleep is, you may not realize just how much a good night’s sleep can help not only your stress levels but help you retain the information you’re learning during your long days of studying.

Fact is, if you’re sleep deprived you’re going to be more prone to feeling stressed out, little things may be your breaking point like the friendly barista accidentally mixing up your drink order.

Not to mention, if you’re not getting enough sleep – good luck trying to focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. Say goodbye to just about every fact you just tried to memorize for your psych final.

So while it may seem like taking away all that study time to do something like sleep shouldn’t be what you’re doing – in the end your body and your brain will thank you (hopefully by helping you ace your test!).

Take a Breather

Both literally and figuratively. When you’re in the midst of a particularly productive study session and you can’t quite step away, practicing a few breathing exercises can help ground and calm you.

You can google breathing exercises for a ton of quick and easy options but a popular one is 4-4-4 breathing. For this breathing exercise, it can be helpful to imagine or look at a picture frame.

The top and bottom pieces of the frame are where you will inhale and exhale and the two side pieces are where you will hold.

So, to begin you will drag your gaze from the top left corner to the top right while breathing in for a count of 4.

From there you will drag your gaze from top right to bottom right while holding your breath for a count of 4.

As you drag your gaze from bottom right to bottom left you will exhale to a count of 4 and finally, hold your breath as your gaze goes from bottom left to top left and repeat.

If you can manage to step away, it’s helpful to take a physical breather – so step away from your work and the space you’ve been associating with studying and do something calming like go for a quick walk – even if it’s 5 minutes to the mailbox and back.

Do a quick yoga flow using one of the many 10 minute videos on youtube. Anything that gets you up, moving, and away from your studies.

Think of it like a reset for your mind and body – giving you a chance to relieve any tension you’ve been holding.

Melt it Away with Massage

While it can be hard to step away when you’re in the middle of one of the most stressful parts of your semester – taking a break and getting a massage can be extremely beneficial for managing your stress.

Find an RMT in Burlington or near you and schedule a massage right before the big exam, or immediately afterwards. 

When we’re studying and carrying a lot of stress and tension, not to mention spending tons of time hunched over laptops or textbooks, that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

A massage is a great way to relax, unwind and address any tension, pain or anxiety you’ve been carrying for weeks. You’ll leave feeling more calm, grounded, and ready to crush that exam.

Talk it Out

If no matter what you do, you still find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, or struggling to find a balance between school work and me, it may be time to consider talking to a professional.

Most schools will have counsellors and therapists available for their students, or find a therapist in your community.

No matter who you choose, talking out your worries, anxieties, and stresses with an unbiased third party can make a world of difference.

Therapists and counsellors are also trained to help you with coping skills and can even work with you to create more of a balance and achieve goals.


While it may not seem possible when we’re in the middle of it – you can succeed at school and on your exams while also going out with friends, feeling relaxed and prepared and not pulling back-to-back all nighters to cram.

Crazy right? However, if you do find yourself struggling with exam stress, there are things you can do to stay on top of it and ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand and keep you from acing those finals!