How to Stay Sane in the Lead Up to Exam Results Day

"Woohoo, I love waiting for results day!"

Said no one ever. 

Waiting for your exam results can be terrifying. Those horrible feelings of stress and panic can sometimes feel like too much to bare. 

Of course thousands of other young people across the country are feeling this way too, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

What we hope might make it even a fraction easier though, is (drum roll please)... the following advice to give you the best chance of staying sane in the lead up to results day! 

PS. We really hope it helps! 

PS. PS. This blog is kind of long, but you don't have to read it all in one go. It's long because there are a lot of things we think you might like to know, so we suggest you read half of it now, save the link, and then read the other half later 😊



We're not saying it's not going to be tricky, but try your absolute hardest to go to bed and get up at a decent time in the lead up to exam results day, but ESPECIALLY the night before the big day!

Why we hear you ask? Well, if you get used to going to bed at 3am and getting up at midday every day, and then suddenly, the night before results day, decide to go to bed at 10pm and get up at 8am - you're probably not going to feel your best the next day (despite the early night the night before).

Sleep may be hard to come by in the lead up to results day, but try to get into a good bedtime routine as the more energy you conserve, the better you'll be at managing your emotions in the lead up to and on the day itself.

Sounds obvious, but the easiest way to make sure you're tired at bedtime is to make yourself tired during the day 😴 For example, instead of having a lie in, get up and do some exercise. Avoid having too much caffeine (coffee and fizzy drinks) and have a relaxing bath or shower before you go to bed. Meditations can be helpful too in order to help calm those racing thoughts. Check out this one we posted for World Sleep Day.

It also might be a good idea to limit the time you spend on social media. Chances are that results day is all anyone will be talking about, so we suggest you swap your phone for a book (or a magazine if you're not a massive fan of reading).



Believe it or not, talking about how you're feeling is so important in the lead up to results day! If you're nervous, talk about it. If you're anxious, talk about it. Make it a priority to find time to sit down with your family and friends in order to have a conversation with them. 

If you want further advice, watch this vlog by Sophie all about the importance of sharing your feelings.

By not sharing your feelings and keeping them inside, you can pretty much guarantee they'll only get worse! Panic attacks are often caused by a build up of feelings of overwhelming stress and fear. They're becoming more common in young people because of the overwhelming pressure they are under to perform well in their education. 

A panic attack is essentially a combination of horrible feelings swirling around in your body and making you feel like you can't breathe! However, the trick to overcoming them (and stopping them in the first place) is to ground yourself in where you are now, and not where your emotions are trying to take you to. For example, if you're panicking about what you're going to do if you've failed ALL your exams, try to remember that this hasn't even happened yet (and actually probably won't)!? In order to help you to do this, bring yourself back into the present moment by thinking of 5️⃣ things you can see, 4️⃣ things you can touch, 3️⃣ things you can hear, 2️⃣ things you can smell and 1️⃣ thing you can taste. It really helps - trust us!



In order to truly feel relaxed, you first need to be practicing self-care. You might not know exactly what this is, but chances are you are already doing it 😊

Self-care is all about how we look after ourselves. It's different for everyone, but once you identify the things that constitute as self-care for you and start to do them regularly, you're much more likely to feel relaxed! 

For example, if self-care for you means going out and spending time with your friends in order to take your mind off your results in the lead up to the big day, then do it. Equally though, if staying in and watching episodes of your favourite TV show in bed alone is more relaxing for you, then do that instead. There's no right or wrong, it's all about what helps you feel the most relaxed and making time to do it.

If you want to know more about self-care, check out this blog we posted during Self Care Week last year.



Finally, when the big day arrives, whatever you do, don't go by yourself! Whether you go with a parent or a friend, bring someone along to share the experience with you and most importantly, to help you manage your emotions before and after you've read your results.

Talking of reading your results... If you don't get the exam results you were hoping for, stop, and take a moment to think about how hard you worked and tried. It might feel like the end of the world, but it's not, and the sooner you realise you have other options (because you always do), the sooner you'll start to feel slightly more positive about the situation.

If you do get the exam results you wanted...


A MASSIVE congratulations to you!!

Although, it's worth being mindful that not everyone will be happy about their results. We're not saying you're not allowed to celebrate, but just be a little considerate of others around you.

And that's how we hope you'll stay sane in the lead up to results day! 

Good luck!


Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm. Each course has up to 8 young people, all accessing the sessions from their own phones, tablets or laptops across the UK. The courses take place on different evenings of the week and are run by friendly, trained counsellors and volunteer youth workers. You don’t need an adult to refer you or sign you up, and no-one will see or hear you during the sessions – you’ll just join in via the chatbox. We want to help you to find your next steps towards recovery, wherever you are on your journey.

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