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How to De-Stress for Midterms


Starbucks cups are piling on my workspace, my hand is cramping from creating hundreds of flashcards, and at this point, I’m writing “the the” twice.  All this is a result of studying for five hours straight. I probably have five more dreadful hours. Sound familiar? Thought so. If you’re as stressed as I am about exams (or papers, if that’s what is stressing you out), get inspired by the following list!

  • Downward-facing dog sure will get your blood flowing and your mind off the books. Any kind of yoga practice will induce relaxation and awareness—both of which contribute to de-stressing and staying focused!
  • Speaking of dogs, look at pictures of baby animals for a good half hour to remind you that there’s more to life than grades and school. Cute kittens await you!
  • Treat yourself to something delicious. Piping hot tea and pumpkin bread does the trick for me. But, for you, it may be a new pair of heels. Reward yourself for your hard work, honey!
  • Create or find a playlist that either lets you either chill out or amps you up. Usually, I go to songza to find a playlist that is sure to match my mood and environment. I’ve also recently discovered a site called Rainy Café that provides you with a café and/or rainy ambience.
  • In the midst of all this real difficult studying, it’s never a bad idea to watch a movie. This past weekend, I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one night and saw Don Jon the next. Both movies were much-needed distractions from reality.
  • Get physical! Schedule a dance break, run along the Esplanade, or release some endorphins in the bedroom. Your body and mind will thank you.
  • Go outside and get your nature on. Explore the Arnold Arboretum, get lost in the history of the Freedom Trail, or just walk down Bay State Road!

Most importantly, take a lot of breaks. You’re more likely to sustain a study session if you block out some time every now and then to get a meal or simply close your notes. Also, take into account the resources that Student Health Services provides, including the fact sheet below. 

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