Tips to De-Stress Your Spring Semester

We all know the end of the semester (and school year) can be an incredibly stressful time for everyone, what with looming deadlines and final exams right around the corner. Here are some quick tips for de-stressing as the semester draws to a close.

1. Go for a quick (5-10 minute) walk

Take a moment and step away from your work. It can seem difficult, especially when your assignment is due in a few days and the amount of work you have left is overwhelming. However, taking a moment to reconnect with nature and revel in the beauty of our campus or Duke Gardens can make you happier overall, boost your mood, and, more importantly, can refresh your mind for that very same assignment, maybe leading to a brilliant new idea if you’re stuck or the motivation you need to crank through a few more study chapters!

2. Eat a snack – and really savor it!

Stress eating isn’t the best feeling – so instead of mindlessly munching on popcorn or throwing candy into your mouth, grab a handful of nuts, an avocado, or any other healthy snack that will fill you up, and take a moment to really enjoy your snack. Doing so will make you feel full, which means you won’t be stressing your body by being hungry, and will also avoid the downsides to stress eating unhealthy and junk foods.

3. Turn off your phone

We’ve all heard it a million times – unplugging can make you happier, more creative, and more productive. So next time you head to Perkins for a cram session, turn off your phone and put it away, and really focus on the task at hand! Alternatively, you can leave your phone in your room if you don’t live far and won’t be away too long. You’ll find that you get your work done more quickly and more effectively – and you’ll be able to go back to texting and checking social media later in the day with a clear conscience knowing you’ve done your fair share of work and study for the day.

4. Listen to your favorite music

Listening to your favorite music can boost your mood regardless of what you’re doing. While classical music generally slows the heart rate and calms your physiological state, it’s not a requirement to listen specifically to classical music. Any music that you enjoy has positive associations, and this mood boost in the middle of your stress will help you be productive and less stressed.

5. Take a moment and hang out with friends – in person!

This one can be difficult as the semester draws to a close, as most people will also be busy with their own assignments and exams. But if you can find some time to hang out with your friends – either for a Saturday brunch, a midweek lunch, or a quick ice cream run – can instantly boost your happiness and even decrease your cortisol levels!

The end of the semester is an incredibly important time to take care of yourself, so take a moment and do things that will help with your mental and physical health! It’s just as important as studying for a few extra minutes and the rewards can be huge. Happy almost LDOC and good luck on exams! 

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