There has been a perennial perception that once an aspirant cracks any of the government exams in India such as SBI PO, Indian Railways, SSC, UPSC, among others, his/her life will be set forever.

Although there is no denying to this fact, several aspirants while preparing for these exams often don’t take their mental health seriously and end up developing various mental disorders, which they are unable to cope up with mainly due to high-stress levels, and social and cultural beliefs.

According to a recent report, 12 per cent of students in India between the age of 4 and 16 have psychiatric disorders, followed by 20 per cent with mental disorders. On top of it, India as a nation fails to protect their children from incidents like suicides mainly due to the shame of not achieving the desired results. Today, a student commits suicide every hour in the country. It is, therefore, urgent to put a halt on this situation by making aspirants aware of such problems and help strengthen their coping mechanisms to deal with failures.

Make a smart timetable and follow it strictly: This has always helped aspirants to increase their productivity and eventually achieve better results without compromising on health. In this attempt, students should prioritise those subjects that are less prepared before going for others that they are confident about. Doing so will help manage and complete their syllabus on time instead of stressing themselves in the eleventh hour.

Keep discussing with friends: While preparing, one should never break off completely from friends. Rather, they should keep discussing diverse topics with each other to gain more confidence in the respective subject and know where they land exactly at that particular period. They can also do combined study as it is often fruitful in exchanging ideas and explaining myriad topics in a short time frame. In doing so, it is advisable to not compare the outcomes or speed with friends as it can also mitigate one’s confidence level.

Solve previous year question banks: Developing a practice to solve previous year question papers boosts confidence levels while accelerating one’s speed to solve the entire paper. It also gives an idea about the type of questions that have been asked in the last couple of years, the pattern and ways to approach the problems effectively. While doing so, set a proper time limit to practice in a real exam-room atmosphere. This ultimately prepares the aspirant to perform well and reduce stress levels during the actual exam hours.

Never skip meals: Meal is the actual fuel that a human body needs to perform any task. Therefore, one should make sure that they never skip their meals and at the same time, be careful about having heavy meals. Filling the stomach up to the brim can make an individual feel uncomfortable and sometimes feel sleepy during the practice sessions. One must, therefore, follow a balanced diet which should comprise five vital nutrients – fats, vitamins, proteins, minerals and carbohydrates.

Take adequate breaks: It is always recommended to be mindful during these crucial days of preparation and take breaks from time to time instead of sitting for long hours, focussing on studies. Taking ample breaks relaxes the mind and gives the energy to start afresh.

Never compromise on sleep: Always set a timeline for sleep and be disciplined towards it. It is just a matter of a few days when one requires preparation and revision within a particular set of time. They can get back to following their old routines once done with these highly competitive hours, which can set their careers.

Stress management: Some stress is inevitable during exams, but taking too much stress can land you in troubles like poor concentration and headaches. In order to stay away from such disorders, do a bit of meditation every day and spend good times with parents and friends. Exercising is always a good option to break off temporarily from the stressful exam routines. While cracking one of these exams can set one’s career, it is important to maintain a proper timetable, which ensures a healthy diet and a healthy life during these crucial times of preparation. Aspirants should understand that mental health is more important than scoring good marks. One failure won’t decide their future but regular stress and mental discomfort can completely break it. Rather, one must embrace failures to learn and unlearn, and lead a happy life.