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In Focus

Posted at: Mar 19, 2018, 12:19 AM; last updated: Mar 19, 2018, 12:19 AM (IST)

The end result

Every hour, one student commits suicide in India
The end result
End of board exams marks the beginning of post-exam anxiety, which, too, needs smart handling, says  Sunita Nagpal

After examination stress, students appearing for the board examinations suffer from the post-exam anxiety — about tricky questions, peer and parental pressures, and about securing the future in the fiercely competitive world. All put together, it sure is enough to keep the kettle boiling!

Psychologists today are working in 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 is a pity if they can't enjoy the present before it becomes the past.

For students

The board examination should be treated like any another exam. 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 concern and regardless of the outcome, things will be fine 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. If you feel unsure or insecure, don't hesitate to drop in a message to a friend or approach helpline numbers. Many a time, the written communication works better than the verbal communication.

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 keep smiling. Feel alive. Don't discuss about the exam with others after it is over. Such discussions are useless and stressful.

To parents

Give 100 per cent 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 the life of your kid run normally. If required talk to the counsellors and teachers at the 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 or her that this is not the end of the world.

Warning signs

  • Disturbed sleep, appetite loss
  • Uneasiness and temperamental 
  • Perpetual exhaustion, lack of concentration
  • Headaches, indigestion and blurred vision
Stress management

  • If you are feeling depressed, talk it out
  • Take a break to reduce anxiety 
  • Set realistic targets and follow them
  • Get proper seven to eight hours sleep 
  • Exercise and yoga reduce stress 
  • Have a proper meal; eat fruits and vegetables  
Post-exam manual

  • Don't dissect the exam papers
  • Take a break after exams
  • Do something creative 
  • Be prepared to accept the outcome 
  • Exercise, yoga and outdoor activities
Suicides due to examination stress

Year Number

2014 2,403

2015 2,646

2016 2,413

(Source: Lok Sabha , Q.N. 2451, Jan 2, 2018)

*(NCRB -2015)

— The writer is Principal, DPS, Sushant Lok, New Delhi

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