6 Healthy Habits for Finals

As finals approach (yikes), it can be easy to slip into bad habits like eating poorly, not getting enough sleep and not taking time to relax. In a stressful environment, these habits are easier to adopt but worse for your well-being. This finals season, try adopting these simple, healthy habits to combat the finals week woes:


1. Prioritize important assignments



When deadlines are approaching all at once, it gets easy to see it all as unmanageable and give up. Instead, make a priority list. Write down everything that needs to get done in order of urgency and importance. Usually, this list is shorter than you expect, and as you move through the list, you get the satisfaction of crossing things off.  


2. Eat brain food


If you’re anything like me, you’ll stress eat while studying. If this is inevitable, don’t try to curb the habit. Instead, when you leave for the library, only pack snacks like bananas, nuts, or dark chocolate. You’ll have something to munch on while you study without having to try to push through a post-sugar crash later.


3. Sleep!



Even if this is your fourth time hearing this today, let this be the time it sinks in. Sleep is crucial all the time but especially when you’re trying to learn material. Pulling an all-nighter before an exam actually makes it less likely that you’ll remember the material, and you’ll probably have trouble focusing during the test. Do yourself a favor and get some sleep.


4. Work when you work best



Figure out when you are most productive and schedule your study time around that. If you’re focused in the mornings, go to bed early so you can wake up and study. If you work best at night, sleep in and study at night. Find a schedule that works for your needs and stick to it.


5. Take breaks, but don’t forget to study



As important as it may seem to push through and study endlessly, taking 20 minutes to watch an episode of Friends won’t be the reason you fail an exam. On the other hand, don’t make the fatal mistake of letting a 20 minute break turn into an entire day wasted. Breaks are crucial during a stressful time like finals for letting your mind rest and relax, but make sure to find the right balance between working and relaxing. I like to give myself a five minute break whenever I feel my attention fading, but everyone has a different perfect balance.


6. Study with supportive friends



You may think you’re the type to need to study alone, but when the stress starts to really hit you, it’s very helpful to have supportive friends around you. Not to mention, the unfortunate reality is that seeing other people also stress out helps remind you that you’re not alone. Help each other, support your stressed friends, and make time for fun during a very un-fun week.


Don’t let finals turn you into a ball of stress. As you prepare for long days in the library, keep these tips in mind, and you can be more prepared for finals than you ever imagined.