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It’s finals season, and if you’re anything like me, these next few weeks are packed with due dates, study sessions, and lots of caffeine. It also means our stress levels are at an all-time high. If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or burnt out, I’m right there with you. But even during these stressful weeks when school is all you can think about, taking care of yourself is important.

Limit time on your phone.

Listen, I wasn’t a fan of this one either--our phones are our lifelines in the age of social distancing. But I started noticing that after a full day of online school, spending my free time staring at another screen was giving me headaches and making me feel even more tired. If you can, try spending your study breaks reading a book or doing something offline. If you really have to keep looking at a screen, I recommend investing in a pair of blue light glasses to lessen the strain on your eyes.

Meal prep and keep snacks on hand.

During finals week, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour making dinner when I could be studying or taking a nap! I also don’t want to spend all my money on delivery, so what I like to do is take time at the beginning of the week to prepare all of my food. Having my meals already prepared gives me one less thing to stress about. I also make sure I have plenty of granola bars, crackers, and fruit on hand for my study breaks. Make sure to keep yourself fed (and hydrated) for your tests!

Use the Pomodoro technique.

I started using this last semester, and it completely changed the way I study! Basically, with this method, you study for 25 minutes then take a break for five minutes. After four of these sessions, you take a longer break and then start again. Some people are able to study for hours straight, but I am not one of those people, so this technique helped me so much.

Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Getting enough sleep really does make a difference! While it’s tempting to pull all-nighters studying, you’ll be able to focus better if you’re well-rested before your exam. Eight hours is recommended, as we all know, but that obviously isn’t always possible. Try and get as much sleep as you can, or take naps and rest breaks so that you can stay focused.

Set up a reward for yourself after your exams.

Most of us just finished our third Covid semester--that’s a huge accomplishment, even though it doesn’t always feel like that. I always recommend having something to look forward to, so you can reward yourself for finishing your finals. Whether that’s a trip to the mall, a manicure, or watching your favorite movie, make it something that will help you stay motivated during the last few days of the semester.

I hope these tips were helpful as we prepare to wrap up the semester! Remember to fit some self-care into the next couple weeks, and good luck on exams!

Jordyn is a senior at CU Boulder and the Editor-in-Chief of HCCU. She loves hiking, reading, and playing with her silver lab puppy, and can usually be found exploring restaurants and bookstores around Boulder.
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