Work calm, not hard

Software to support wellbeing

We all know that a little stress can be constructive – I mean, why work when there’s no deadline? Too much stress, however, can be paralytic – I can remember sitting at a computer for eight hours a day with words oozing reluctantly from my fingertips at the rate of 5 wpm (only to be deleted and laboriously re-drafted). I can remember powering up my laptop to crack on with that essay only to find my resolution crumble when I glimpse the mediocrity of the previous day’s efforts.

During exam season it’s more important than ever to be attentive towards your mental health, so this blog is highlighting some of the software we have that can help you counter stress. #ExamCalm


When we reach exam season, there tends to be a baseline thrum of activity and anxiety that reverberates through all our study spaces, silent or no. Noise-cancelling headphones are a great way to make sure you can stay focused in a shared space, and Noisli might make an interesting alternative to Spotify when you need something lyric-less, whether in aid of either concentration or relaxation.


I love Libby. This is a virtual library where you can download-on-loan ebooks, magazines and audiobooks; all you need is a library membership from the Beaney (cost: £1). When my daily workload – and screentime – intensifies, and my inner child recoils from the pressure of adulting, I know I need to optimise my time-outs and introduce “story-time” to soothe that impending emotional tantrum. Listening to someone else recite a story allows my mind to inhabit a different space for a while and can be a grounding experience when a task threatens to overwhelm me. The imagination knows no bounds and exercising it restores my sense of freedom, improves my confidence. Genuinely, this was the best £1 I ever spent.

StayFocused / Forest

Prone to procrastination? Or easily distracted? Both of these tools function to limit your activity online that distract you from your task at hand. StayFocused works like a personalised hourglass, configured so you can only spend an allotted time on your ‘time-wasting’ sites. Forest gives you a virtual dependant, tethering the successful growth of your plant from seedling to full-bloom to the focus you show your task – ideal for anyone lacking the green-fingered gene…

If you have other wellbeing tips for this exam season you can share them in our comments section below – we’d love to hear them! And remember, we are a community. No-one needs to be overwhelmed alone. Our Student Support and Wellbeing are here for you, and Spectrum Life are available out-of-hours. #ExamCalm

So knuckle down, but keep your heads up – when you’re inspired, you can’t be intimidated.

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