It’s that time again. Time for some late nights, study dates, and possible tears. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s okay to have a healthy level of stress, but make sure to check in on yourself and allocate time for self-care! Below are 5 different things you can do to alleviate some stress during the midterm season:
- Take a bubble bath
Probably the most obvious form of self-care is to take a bubble bath. Baths are relaxing and allow time to pamper yourself. Bath bombs and bubble bars are also things that I buy all the time, just for them to sit on my bathroom shelves for months. So, taking baths puts to use some items you may have laying around your place. Pair a bubble bath with some candles, a face mask, and some soft music, and that’ll really relieve some stress.
- Take breaks from studying
I have finally realized the importance of taking breaks. Even though the importance of this has been told to me my whole life, I always thought I was above taking breaks. It may sound ‘productive’ to sit for hours and work on homework non-stop, but this can be so unhealthy. In work environments, A study by Korpela, Kinnunen, Geurts, de Bloom and Sianoja (2016)  found that taking lunchtime breaks and detaching from work, increases levels of energy at work and decreases exhaustion. Furthermore, one year later it was found to increase vigor and increase energy levels over time. This means that taking breaks will actually increase your productivity, especially in the long run. So, don’t let anyone tell you it is pointless to take breaks, because you will be less likely to burn out in the end.
- Go for a walk outside
The American Heart Association explains how spending time outdoors can help to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as improve your mood. You can also use your break time from studying to go on a walk. As well as improving your mood, going on a walk provides some time to get some exercise in, which is hard to do while you’re sitting down and working.
- Read a book
Reading is a new hobby that I have picked up this year. Unlike other hobbies, reading a book allows me to escape into another world and away from some stressors. If you read a book not related to your schoolwork, it can actually relieve some tension and stress from your current reality. Reading books you enjoy also helps you to not just associate reading with schoolwork and textbooks.
- Meal prep
Making sure you have food ready-to-go can alleviate time from going out to eat. It can also make you feel more prepared for the days ahead. On the Budget Bytes website, they show many different cheap and easy meal prep ideas from breakfast to dinner.
In a culture so focused on productivity and ‘grinding it out’, don’t forget about yourself and what you can mentally afford. Is it worth your mental health to work so hard you get burnt out, or worth it to take the necessary breaks you need? Remember, once you’re done with midterms, you’re already half-way through the semester! Make sure to take some time for yourself and not spread yourself so thin.