3 great ways to recover after finishing your exams
Handed in your last paper, but still feeling stressed? Read this article.
Woo Hoo!!! Partay!!!
It’s done! The final exam is passed in, the pens are down, there’s nothing left to do except sit back and relax. Life is good (except for that nagging worry about whether you’re going to get into uni ... but we’ll get to that in a moment)
If you’ve just finished your final exams, well done! Here are some ideas for how to cope with the next phase:
1. Take some time to rest
Our world is a kind of non-stop, never-rest world now. Shops are open 7 days a week, convenience stores are even open 24 hours a day. We lose the rhythm of work and rest in all the busyness. It can be soooo easy to just replace one kind of busy with another.
God didn’t make you to be a non-stop kind of person. Just as God rested after his work of creation (see Genesis 1), it’s good to take some time out. Try having a 'no technology day', or a 'no shopping day', or a 'nothing day', where you just STOP. Take your Bible with you to an out-of-the-way place (getting out to a park or beach is a good idea), then read a Psalm or seven. Thank God for giving you rest from all that hard study work.
2. Don’t worry
For a some of you, this is an easy ask, but for others? Well, telling some of you to not worry is like asking you to stop breathing. "Not possible!" you think. So here's a quick encouragement.
God’s got your future in his hands. When we worry, we’re taking things away from God and saying, “God, I don’t think you can handle this. I think I need to look after this myself.” Then when it’s a situation we can’t control, all we end up doing is worrying.
Jesus asked a simple question in Matthew 6:27:
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Trusting God means learning to let him be in control of everything - especially the things you can’t change. Jesus’ answer for worry was to shift focus:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34)
Seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness means to make God’s priorities our priorities. In the original language, the word 'seek' really has the sense of 'keep on seeking'. It’s a constant, ongoing process. God’s kingdom is far better than anything we can ever imagine, so it’s right for that to be our Priority Number One. God’s promise in response is that he will look after our needs (our food, clothing, livelihood).
It’s a funny thing, though: the more you focus on the awesomeness of God’s Kingdom, the less important some other things become. So your worries become less because we can see more of God’s big picture.
3. Relax well
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
A holiday or time away with friends can be a great antidote to the high pressure stress you’ve been experiencing. But there’s a funny thing that can happen when you’re out of your normal environment: it’s kind of easy to forget our normal boundaries and standards of behaviour.
Holidays can be a great gift from God. But if we’re followers of Jesus, we still need to remember who we are:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10
Have a great time relaxing and enjoying God’s world!
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