Finals—every college student’s least favorite time of year. You stop sleeping, you stop showering and your social life completely flies out the window, right? Wrong! Actually, taking care of yourself and reducing stress during finals is one of the best ways to make sure you’ll do well and get through the process in one piece. Here are my top ten tips for staying calm and managing stress during finals season.
1. Have an effective study strategy.
You wouldn’t go into war without a battle plan, so don’t go into finals without a study strategy. Planning exactly what you’re going to review and when is so helpful in keeping you accountable, making your study habits effective and making sure you don’t stress too much. To find out how, check out this post I wrote on making a strategy for finals!
2. Set aside downtime and make sure you stick to it!
Just as important as making time to study is making time to relax. It’s been proven that taking a break from working helps improve concentration and sustain energy. You’re at your best when you make time to have fun, spend time with friends and live a balanced life. Schedule some time every day to relax and take a mental break. You’ll return to your work refreshed and better equipped to focus.
3. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is so important. While pulling an all-nighter may seem like the perfect way to finish a paper on time, skipping a night of sleep actually makes it harder to concentrate, multitask, and remember information. In fact, sleep is known to consolidate memory, so skip the all-nighter and keep your normal sleep hours. It will help you feel calmer, remember more, and do better on your exams.
4. Remember to laugh.
During your downtime, try to spend some time with a few friends—and laugh! Laughter boosts your endorphins and even curbs stress hormones, making it a great way to keep stress at bay when you need a break.
5. Don't abuse caffeine.
Drinking too much caffeine can lead to headaches, upset stomach, and increased anxiety – not what you want during finals season! Instead of abusing your favorite caffeinated drinks to stay up late or to focus, try for just one pick-me-up caffeinated drink throughout the day as a reward or incentive for hard work.
Read the full post on Sara Laughed here.