*andy williams voice* it's the most stressful time of year!!!

Ah, exam season. How I've missed you. 

In all fairness, I have been dealing with stress a lot better this year. If you were unfortunate enough to be around me during my exams this time last year, I was a wreck. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, I felt like I was constantly hormonal and I was just an anxious wreck. So, looking at things from that angle, I have learned how to deal with things a lot better.

By the time I post this, most people will have sat all their exams - I'm just really unlucky that my exams always finish on the last day of the exam diet, so while everyone else has had a week or so before the season has officially finished, I'm still stuck studying away - so my advice is late, and hence useless for many people.

But, hopefully, people can remember what I've said for next year (and maybe I'll remember to tweet the link out next April), and if not, then writing about stress is extremely cathartic for me. Unfortunately, I still get stressed with exams and uni etc etc. a lot, but it isn't as bad as before. So, no, I don't know how to eradicate stress from your life completely. But, if you follow my foolproof plan, maybe you too can become less of a stressed-out mess!

The first way I've dealt with stress is to plan your days out. I'm the self-confessed worst person at doing this - so I don't personally plan a lot, but I tell myself that I'm going to study a certain subject and I'm going to get through x number of lectures in a day. I also take lots of breaks. I find that I can only really concentrate for about half an hour at a time, so I do my half hour, take a five/ten minute break and do another half hour, and so on.

There are days where I just do not want to do anything - I would rather sleep and watch The Office than study, there are days where I'd rather go to a nice coffee shop and read, where if it's nice I'd rather go for a nice walk than study. All of those things are fine, in moderation, but future Ashleigh will thank present Ashleigh for doing things she doesn't want to do, as it'll make me happier in the future. I still do try and do nice things every so often, I will usually go out for a walk in the evenings if it's not too cold, and sometimes I'll go to a coffee shop and just not study for a bit.

It's important to have a work/life balance when studying. I still go to the gym when I can, I still write blog posts when I can, I still do the things that I want to do when I can, whilst still prioritising studying. This has without a doubt helped me the most. Realising that, yes, I can still have a life is probably the most helpful piece of advice I can give to anyone.

Apologies for the very late advice, but hopefully it helps. What do you do when you're stressed? Let me know! :)