6 Creative Ways to Relax Post-Finals

Ah, finally, the semester is over.

While the snow is finally on the ground and the smell of hot cocoa and candy canes is littering the atmosphere, there is still a little bit to go. Final exams – grade killers or saviors – are coming up and they tend to be a period of high-stress for many Boston University students. In my experience, I find that while these periods of high stress, in the end, make me more productive in terms of work and studying, the big sigh after all that can be very painful. So, here are some ways to relax and prepare for winter break, after your exams, of course :).

  1. 1. Breathe.

    After you finish your last final and exit the exam room, just take a breath. The best first step is to lower your heart rate and calm your nerves from taking the exam.

    One way to do this is by meditating. When you get back to your room, sit down on a carpet or on your bed and just sit there. Focus on your breathing and vacate all the thoughts running through your mind. Try not to think about packing before your flight tomorrow morning or whether the answer to that multiple choice question was Australia or 1967.78.

  2. 2. Pack or clean.

    For those of us who constantly need to be moving or being productive (or you still haven’t packed or cleaned your room even though you leave tomorrow morning), here is one that I find pretty relaxing. Packing and cleaning can be relaxing if you don’t leave it until the last minute.

  3. 3. Go ice skating… or if the ice freaks you out, hit the gym.

    If you have some time after exams, go to the ice rink, get some Instagram-worthy pictures, and have some fun. Ice skating is one of my favorite parts of the winter season, especially getting to see all the Christmas decorations while skating on the ice for an hour or two. If ice-skating isn’t up your alley, hit the gym and get some exercise. It is a great way to let go of stress and makes you feel a lot better.

  4. 4. Pick up a book.

    It’s been a while since I’ve actually sat down and read a book… for leisure. While I have enjoyed a fair number of books for school, I have a tendency to buy books I want to read and then read the first 10 pages, until I am hit by a storm of work from all my classes. Within a week, the book is forgotten and sitting at the bottom of the pile of textbooks on my desk.

    Winter break is a great time to curl up on your bed or couch with a good book and a cup of peppermint hot chocolate. Stop by the Boston Public Library to pick up a book to take home or ask for some recommendations from your friends (my roommate got me to start reading the Harry Potter series for the first time).

  5. 5. Treat yourself to a nice snack or meal.

    Grab some friends and get some food in the North End or at any restaurant that you’ve always wanted to eat at this semester. Or maybe get some takeout from that restaurant and have a night in. Regardless of whether you need to be social or need a “me night,” get some good food into your system. The dining hall will definitely start to take a hit once the study period comes, so get that pasta carbonara you’ve been craving since October.

  6. 6. Do some end of semester/year reflecting.

    This could be new year’s resolutions or you could just reflect over the past semester and see what worked. Maybe check to see if you actually stayed with your new year's resolutions. Or maybe make a list of your favorite moments from the year or semester or a list of things you could improve on. However you decide to reflect, keep your reflections positive!

Regardless of how you choose to spend your post-finals period and the duration of your winter break, take care of yourself. Your physical health and mental health are the most important, so please enjoy your break and de-stress to come into the new decade ready.

 

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