The Class-12 board exams are just days away, and cramming for the school leaving examination is reaching a peak as students stay awake all night to pour over notes and try their hand at old question papers. But amid all this, it is essential for students to handle the stress that is building up.

As the exam date nears, the tension welling up in the student begins to rise too. There could be fits of hysterics, some show of anger when the student is unable to stick to the study schedule or crack a tough math practice question. Or maybe the brain has just got too dulled with too much cramming.

A few steps to ease away the stress:

Take a break: When you feel the frustration level building up, and you can’t absorb any more – it is a signal that your brain wants a rest. So take it easy. Listen to some music, soothing music. Jarring music with loud percussion and high decibel notes may not help to relieve the stress. Soft instrumental is good. Old Hindi film songs and even some of the new ones as well as the older English numbers will have your ear and brain tuning in, and tapping to the beats.

Take a walk, do some light free hand exercises: A 15-minute walk, you’ll find, is really a stress-buster. You can plug on your favourite music, some peppy but soft number, and walk along. If you have the benefit of a lawn, walk barefoot on the soft green grass. It will really soothe the body and mind.

For those who have a playground nearby, try jogging for a while. But no running at fast speed; it may tire you.  Some free hand exercises would be useful.

Students who love nature can just sit in a garden or neighbourhood lawn, and watch the birds and the sky. Or you can admire the flowers. It is spring time, and all the gardens now are in full bloom.

Admire Mother Nature and her bounty: Go see the bright cadence of colours – purple, orange, red, yellow, bright pink, white – amid the green leaves in the garden. It will surely soothe you.

Parents should take care: Parents need to be watchful and know when their wards are under stress and not unnecessarily nag them about studies. This can lead to unpleasant situations and spoil the study atmosphere for the child.

Students under stress will tend to get panicky, and fail to comprehend simple questions or facts – compounding their tension.

Parents will need to delve into their stores of patience at exam time.

Talk soothingly to your wards: See in what ways you can help. And if your child says he or she is going to fail, just take it in your stride.  Tell the child that exams are not the end of life and more interesting avenues can be found. Never berate the already depressed child.

Parents need to constantly encourage their wards during this extremely stressful time.

Take help from teachers and school counselors:  Teachers and counsellors would be knowing the child well and can give some useful tips.

If a student realizes there are study portions that he or she is not too confident about, give it another good reading – provided there is time. Otherwise, focus on the portions you know well.

A healthy advise for students:  Don’t eat heavy foods during study time. It will only make you sluggish and sleepy, and ruin your study time. Heavy cheesy pizzas are tasty, but can also make the brain sluggish as all the attention of the body focuses on the stomach to digest it.

Eat light, and healthy. Keep an array of light snacks for whenever you are feeling peckish. Drink lots of water. Nimbu pani in hot weather is an ideal way to keep fresh.

So students, keep smiling and drive away the tension.

The Central Board for Secondary Examination (CBSE) Class-XII exams are from March 1 to April 24. The total number of registered candidates is 10,67,900 — 6,21,259 boys and 4,46,641 girls.