Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Bust Finals Stress with Healthy Procrastination

It’s officially finals season and the good news is that soon it will be over. Until then, it’s important to ensure we find the healthiest ways to survive. This is the time where it’s so easy to completely lose yourself in the stress of deadlines. One way to cope, of course, is to stuff your face with Cheetos and binge watch The Bachelor, but as tempting as that sounds, there’s also an alternative! It’s something I call “healthy procrastination.” For most of us, procrastination is inevitable, so we might as well embrace it; however, there are ways to let old habits die hard, without actually psyching yourself out to be productive 24/7 or resort to the alternative of crashing and burning.

Healthy procrastination can act as a form of self-care and relaxation into our busy schedules. It allows you to temporarily ignore other obligations and take time just for you. Here are some ways you can practice healthy procrastination:

1. At Home Spa Day

Spend some time putting on a charcoal face mask or an aloe vera face sheet, and if you’re feeling fancy, add a couple of sliced cucumbers on your eyelids to seal the deal. You can also draw yourself a glorious bath while you daydream of situations that will most likely never actually happen in real life. Maybe dedicate a quick hour to shave your legs and slip into warm PJs. You could also paint your nails while you watch Sex and the City. Simply put, spend some time loving your beautiful self. At the end of the day, you will look glamorous and also feel great!

Spa day, two girls, robes, bedroom, bed, beauty products
Photo by The Creative Exchange from Unsplash

2. Dance or Sing 

Now this is a tricky one for all of my folks, like me, who can’t dance or sing. Personally, I think I sound great as long as no one else is listening. If you want to sing at the top of your lungs go ahead and do that. If you want to twirl twice in your kitchen before you open your refrigerator, do that! When we have all this work lined up, it’s natural for us to sort of close ourselves up inside subconsciously. So go ahead and sing, even if you’re not the best, and dance the stress away. 

3. Cook. If You Can’t, Then “Cook”

Cooking is an excellent way to gain more control or completely let go, depending on how good of a cook you are. Pretend to be your own little Martha Stewart, and if it ends up being good, hallelujah! If not, there is always take-out… no one will know. There are plenty of TikToks and YouTube videos that can teach you how to make chicken pasta or vegan tacos or brownies. Play some music and invite your friends to help you cook and eat. The point is at the end of the day, you can text your mom and tell her you cooked a great dinner, regardless of whether it was actually good. Honestly, if all else fails, a salad is the easiest thing to make.

4. Exercise

COVID definitely makes it a little harder to go to the gym, but exercise doesn’t necessarily mean spending 40 minutes on the elliptical. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. If walking isn’t really your thing, rent a VeoRide and bike around campus. Even throwing a frisbee around is better than alternating between your desk and bed in your bedroom. YouTube also has amazing videos for at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment, so even if it’s cold outside, you can still get your body moving indoors!

5. Play the Silent Game with Yourself

What I mean by this is spend some time being quiet. Take a break and let your mind rest by laying in your bed for a while in complete silence. That way you can really hear your thoughts and recognize your emotions. I know that can be daunting, but also sometimes all we need is a break from the hustle and bustle of college life.

6. Friends are Irreplaceable

Lastly, don’t forget about your friends! They are likely all going through the same thing as you and it is so important to check in with each other. Maybe do one of the activities above (except #5) with them. It could be fun and relaxing for all of you!

Hi there, Nandika here! I am currently a Senior at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. I'm double majoring in Communications and Psychology with minors in Business and Public Relations. In my free time, I love biking, long walks, listening to music, and spending time with animals and friends. I really enjoy writing and I'm enthusiastic to contribute :)