Supporting student health during exams | Queen’s Gazette | Rare Techy


There are many resources available to help students as the end of winter approaches.

Students study at tables in the Stuffer library
Many resources are available to help students prepare and stay healthy throughout the final exam period. (Queen’s University)

As the school year comes to an end, the pressure of final assignments and exams can cause stress and anxiety for students. While changes in study formats and health guidelines add to the overall burden, it is normal to experience some level of stress.

For Queen’s students, there are many resources for support throughout the year and for special attention during exam period.

“Sometimes stress can be useful — for example, it gives us energy and motivation to be productive,” says Beth Blackett, health promotion special projects with Student Wellness Services. “There are also coping strategies such as physical activity, bonding with friends/family, sleep and spending time outside in nature, which can help people reduce their stress to a more manageable level. At other times, stress can become overwhelming, especially when it affects our ability to function, and it is useful to contact professional support.

Support programs are available

To support students on their academic journey, Student Affairs and Student Wellness Services offer a number of programs to promote and maintain health and wellness.

Social relationships with peers, friends, and family members are an important way to diffuse anxiety and stress. Good2Talk, Empower Me and Wellness Together Canada are available 24/7 if you’re struggling.

Practicing positive thinking can help influence mood and change the stress caused by negative thinking. The Self-Manage Your Anxiety Workbook can help alleviate anxious feelings by reframing negative thoughts into positive motivation and feelings of gratitude.

The TAO Mindfulness Library provides interactive ways of coping through a variety of exercises, from breathing techniques to anxiety and pain relief.

Taking a break from studying and getting outside to be physically active has been shown to reduce stress. Athletics and Recreation have options for vigorous and light exercise classes to help students relax and stay fit.

Booking a healthy lifestyle appointment connects students with health promotion professional staff to discover strategies to improve sleep.

Nutrition is an important part of maintaining mental focus and overall health. The healthy plate model will help students plan a balanced meal with the right portions of fruits and vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Learning new recipes from the Queen’s Home Kitchen and tips from Registered Dietitians with Hospitality Services will provide useful information to help guide healthy eating decisions that are tasty and delicious.

“It’s been an extraordinary year with a lot of ups and downs,” says Blackett. “Like mental health, our stress levels can vary from mild to severe, so it’s important for students to access the pathway to care that best suits their needs at that time.”

If students are unwell and it affects their academics, they will receive academic consideration through the Contingency Policy.

Visit the Student Wellness Services website to learn more about available resources.


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