Everything You Need to Recover after Finals

Phew! You can cross those finals off in your planner because fall semester is officially over! Winter break is just around the corner with holiday celebrations, cozy stay-ins and study abroad trips. Be ready for 2019 with these tips to chill out and glow up:

1. A nap (or ten)

Sleep is always on the list because it is undoubtedly the cornerstone of physical and mental hygiene. College students need sleep. And what do we lose during finals? Sleep! If you haven’t submitted an assignment within minutes of its midnight deadline, well, that makes one of us. Tired? Get a full eight and wake up consistently for a few days before you make any more late-night commitments.

2. Tickets at a local art exhibition

The art world can be quite the contrary to a regimented schedule filled with Scantrons and No. 2 pencils. You can find out about the art exhibitions on campus here, or head into D.C. for more of an adventure. ARTECHOUSE is hosting an interactive, digital exhibition called New Nature that makes for awesome Instagram pics (it’s also located next to a Potbelly Sandwich Shop). Alternatively, The National Art Gallery has exhibits that run from now until March.   

3. A good workout

Exercise is a proven way to diminish stress and boost your mood if you’ve hit an emotional low. You can hit one of the gyms on campus or go for the scenic route on a run into downtown Fairfax. Not an athlete? No problem. Any physical activity that will get you out of your dorm room can help with mental blocks or residual anxiety.

4. Non-dining hall food

During finals, it’s normal to eat outside of a regular diet. Maybe you were so busy half your food intake was cereal. That’s totally okay! Carbs help us through stress by providing serotonin boosts (you could say they’re our ‘ready-for-action’ foods). It’s good to listen to our bodies. If you haven’t been eating to your satisfaction over the past week or two and you’re tired of dining hall food because you’ve had nothing else for three months, the end of finals season is a godsend. Walk over to University Mall and grab lunch at the recently opened Taco Bamba or use your student discount at Giant to buy ingredients for a Master Chef session in your building’s kitchen. If you have a meal plan, feel free to take salad bar vegetables or grains from the vegan bar to cook something up on your own terms. Just be sure to feed your body so it has the nutrients and energy it needs to recover.

5. Skin-care products

FInals season is not only stressful, but often a time of cold weather. This means dry skin, tired eyes and my all-time favorite: breakouts. It can be hard to leave behind the anxiety of deadlines and exam periods if you’re not feeling yourself. Treat yourself to a face mask and plan out time to catch up on your routine. If you’re looking for new products to try, I recommend the Drench & Quench moisturizer from Bliss and Alba Botanica Acnedote Pimple Patches. You’ll feel super refreshed and very glowy.

6. A brand new playlist

“Work B**ch” might’ve helped you through finals, but it might not be the song to continue listening to on repeat for the next three weeks. Spotify will know your music preferences better than I do, so check out your ‘Taste breakers’ playlist and maybe spend those ninety-nine cents on Premium in the new year. Music, new songs especially, can elevate your mood and trigger areas of your brain to become active and alert.

7. Champagne

If you’re graduating this winter: look at you go! When you walk out of your last class or last exam, you know you’re putting your best foot forward. That diploma was nothing but earned. Be proud and celebrate (but not too hard, you still have to make it to EagleBank).  

Not every last day of semester has to be about credits or curves. You definitely deserve a break. Whether it’s your first set of finals or your last, congrats on a semester well-done, collegiettes!