7 easy ways to improve your mental well-being for exam season

A student sits at a table looking at their laptop screen.

It’s exam time, and “keep calm and carry on” is a great mantra — assuming you’re calm in the first place! But what if you’re not?

If you’re feeling the end-of-semester pressure, try these tips for resetting so you can come back to your tasks refreshed. Practicing mindfulness, finding your calm and making time for your mental health is essential not only for your happiness, but also for your memory and focus (AKA, perfect for studying).

Listen to your needs

⏱️ Take breaks

Have you read the same sentence three times and you’re still not sure what it means? It might be time to step away. Being told to “take a break” when you’re busy can seem overwhelming in itself, but even a few minutes away from a task can provide clarity.

If your studying routine involves a lot of screen time or reading small print, you can schedule your breaks around the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look up and focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

🌞 Make time for what you love

If you have something that helps you relax without fail (for example, taking a bath, going for a walk or phoning a friend), build time for that activity into your schedule. You might not be getting studying done during that time, but you’re priming your body and mind to receive new information with renewed focus.

💗 Be kind to yourself

Your best will look different depending on the day and circumstances like how much time, energy and motivation you have. Don’t be hard on yourself for those differences. Do what feels right for you at the moment.

Lean into free resources

📱 Build your resilience with headversity

Train to improve your resilience where and when you like — your headversity experience is completely anonymous and personalized just for you. SAIT students can download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play using passcode: SAITR8.

🍃 Untangle life’s stresses and challenges with TAO

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a collection of exercises, modules and personal wellness courses designed to help you manage your own emotional well-being. SAIT students have free, unlimited access to TAO self-help content. Sign up for TAO.

💻 Campus Well e-magazine

This online health and wellness magazine features content designed specifically for post-secondary students. Topic areas include fitness, nutrition, time management, money, roommates, sleep and lots more. Learn more.

Talk it out — you’re not alone

🗨️ Don’t wait for things to become too much.

For more useful strategies to increase your calm and help you cope with the demands of school and life, connect with a SAIT counsellor at 403.284.7023 or on Microsoft Teams by searching for Student Development and Counselling.

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.