Exams are stressful. You’re under pressure to do your best, you have a thousand and one things on your to-do list, and you’re running out of time to prepare. From revising to the actual taking of the exam, the entire process can take a toll on your mental and physical health if you don’t take steps to manage the stress.

Here are five easy ways to manage the stress of assignments and exams.

1.    Exercise

Staying active is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Each time you exercise, your body produces endorphins – those feel-good hormones. Walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your stress levels, but intensive workouts are even more effective.

If you can’t find the motivation to exercise on your own, consider joining a sports club where you can meet new people and further reduce your stress.

2.    Meditation and Relaxation

Sitting quietly for just 10 minutes a day can also work wonders to reduce your stress levels. Find a quiet place free of distractions and focus on your breathing for 10 minutes – or longer if you have the time.

If you’re having trouble keeping your mind quiet, consider guided meditation or even movement meditation.

Just taking a moment to breathe – whether it’s just five minutes or thirty – gives your body time to rejuvenate and your stress levels to fall.

3.    Take Breaks

buried aliveBreaks are important – both short and long. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop what you’re doing and take five minutes to switch off.

Be sure to schedule in longer breaks, too. Take the weekend off, and make time for fun things you enjoy. If your schedule only allows for work and no play, you’ll burn out quickly. Taking time off allows you to return to your studies feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

4.    Disconnect

Your day is jam-packed with assignments, exams and other life responsibilities. On top of everything else, you probably spend a good portion of your day texting, checking email and scrolling through social media sites – adding more stress to the pile.

You never give yourself (or your mind) a chance to disconnect. When your mind is constantly going, it becomes nearly impossible to relax and unwind. Disconnect for a day or two. The world won’t end, and your loved ones will understand.

5.    Do Something You Enjoy

Remember those breaks we talked about earlier? Use them to do something you enjoy. Take a walk, go out with a friend, paint, dance – do whatever makes you happy.

Don’t write off hobbies or social activities as trivial. Life needs to be balanced if you hope to succeed, so make time for the things that bring you joy.