5 Ways to Relieve Stress During Midterms

Midterms are here—meaning late night studying, cramming, and feeling overall stressed because of the increase of course work. There are papers to write, homework assignments to finish, and exams to study for. It is understandable to be feeling hopeless with all the pressure put forth upon you. But not to worry! There are many quick, beneficial ways to de-stress your body and clear your mind so you can feel energized and ready to take on your exams!

  1. Eat energizing foods! Things such as nuts (almonds, cashews, and peanuts), fruits (apples, oranges, and berries), and mints are excellent as brain-food for that quick pick-me-up. There is an urban myth that if you chew gum while studying, and chew that same flavored gum during your exam, you will better remember material. I am not sure how scientific this is, but why not?
  2. Exercise and stretch! Being hunched over your book and laptop all day decreases blood flow and stiffens your muscles. Stretching at least once an hour will be beneficial for your body and mind, and going beyond that, engaging in physical activities is the best form of stress relief. It does not have to be a full work-out session at the gym (although that is excellent), even just Youtube-ing 5, 10, 20 minute videos of yoga, strength training, or cardio exercises will make you feel that much better.
  3. Call your parents. Not only will they be surprised you are calling without any favors to ask, they will encourage you with your studying. It is a genuine way of taking your mind off essays and numbers, and it will be nice to hear how your parents are doing. They will be happy to see you are studying and will motivate you.
  4. DANCE. PARTY. Take a break from your studying and have a quick dance party with your friends! Put on some fun tunes and rock out to the music. Extra points if you incorporate study material in your dance to form a grand interpretive dance that will help you absorb the information.
  5. Study outside in nature, or clean your room. Now I say this because I am aware that in some regions, it may be too cold to go out in nature. That is why I recommend the alternative to be to clean your room. It will feel nice to be organized, and I always feel like I am less focused when my room is cluttered. However, if it is nice and sunny, or if there is a blanket of autumn leaves on the ground, bring your studies outside. The sunshine will energize you and the environment will feel more relaxing.

Regardless of whether it is midterms or not, these five techniques can be used everyday to increase happiness and well-being. Now go forth, and conquer!