Results day. Dread comes in waves from just typing the words. For many reasons, it's a day in your life that you will never forget. A flurry of thoughts hit you at a mile a minute. This is the future. It's make or break. Failure is the only thing you can imagine. How will your survive if you don't make the grade?!
Take a deep breath.
Spoilers are the scourge of the internet, but here's one that won't ruin your day: no matter what happens, you will be fine. Your future is what you make it, regardless of some letters on a piece of paper. You shouldn't worry, and you certainly shouldn't be losing any sleep. I know, I know, that's easier said than done, but Silentnight's resident sleep expert Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan has some tips to help you drift off into a peaceful, exam-free slumber.
1) Resist the temptation to wallow
We all love a good wallow. Self-pity is a great safety blanket when life isn't going your way, but it can be a dangerous pitfall too. Don't dwell too much on your situation. If you haven't achieved what you aimed for, look at how you can move forward. What can you do to make the best of the situation? Don't sabotage your options or your health by spending long periods alone, sad about your results Interact with people, talk to teachers, friends and family to help you through.
Value yourself enough to move on. You're great!
2) Practise 'the worst possible scenario'
Stress can overwhelm you, and the worst-case scenario can seem like the only case scenario. If your brain is sending you one way, try to go the other. Use your imagination to ask yourself 'what's the worst that could happen?' Write out all the possible alternatives, even if they seem a little ridiculous.
Once you have done this, reflect on any positives that can come out of the situation.
Many successful people look back at their failures and realise the positives that have come out of the situation.
3) Treat yourself
TREAT YO SELF! Whether you got the grades you wanted or not, take the time to do something that you find fun. Whether it's going to your favourite restaurant, visiting a friend, or watching your favourite film, make sure you do something that lets you spend a little time in your happy place.
Zzzzzzzzz. Bet you saw this one coming.
It's true - a good night's sleep can solve any problem. Sleep allows the body and the mind to rebalance. When you're in such a state, there is that temptation to have a blow out because what've you got to lose? On the odd occasion this is fine, but make sure you get the balance back in your life afterwards. Eat healthily, exercise and try to stick to a bedtime routine that lets your body wind down and relax. It may be difficult, but try to have at least one hour free from technology and social media before you go to bed. Switch off and sleep well, that's the (completely unofficial) Silentnight slogan.
If you're a parent that's reading this on the edge of your seat, have no fear, we have some advice for you too.
1) Don't just blame your child
It's easy to say the classic lines 'if you had just spent more time on your studies instead of…' but at this stage, blaming your child is not the right approach. It's too late and it doesn't help. Listen to how they are feeling, be diplomatic and show some encouragement. They're already stressed enough, and any negative thing you could say they've already thought 1000 times over.
2) Manage their reactions
Everyone reacts differently to failure. Some people become withdrawn, some become angry, and others simply try to forget about it. It's important to deal with the situation, let your child cry, let them scream and don't force situations on them too quickly. They may not feel like socialising with family, so don't force a conversation. They'll talk when they're ready.
3) Destructive vs. constructive venting
Keep your eye on the destructive 'poor me' venting - your child will experience this for a while but you should encourage them to accept the situation and look at how they can move on from it.
Constructive venting is when your child reaches a point of acceptance, still feels sorry for themselves, but is able to see the options open to them. This is the stage you want to get them to, to help them accept and move on.
While your child sleeps the stress away, so can you. Words are great, but sometimes actions speak louder. Make sure to set a good example by exercising, eating healthily, and getting lots of Zzz's. Feeling tired can increase your stress levels, which will then increase everyone's stress levels! A happy home can be a safety blanket, but if the mood is tense, no one can escape the negativity. Let your head hit the pillow, and comfort will follow.
For more sleep tips and for information on Silentnight's range of beds, visit www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters