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How to Destress During Midterm Season

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

For college students all around the world, the last couple of weeks before Spring Break could be tiresome and stressful as they reach the halfway point of the semester and begin midterm assignments, whether that be an exam, project, or big essay. Feeling overwhelmed is not fun for anyone (no matter what time of year it is), so keep reading for some tips on how to “destress” while under some academic pressure.

Make a plan

Time management is key to success, especially when it comes to academics. Establishing a plan, or schedule, and laying out exactly what needs to be done right in front of you may alleviate some of this stress. This might be done my typing up or writing down a plan for each day. For example, Monday covers your math course, Tuesday covers your history course, etc. If there just aren’t enough days in the week to split it up like that, you might also commit different courses to different times of the day (math in the morning, history in the afternoon, science at night, etc).

Build breaks into your schedule

Staying on top of your work is important, but something that’s essential to having a good mindset is taking breaks (both short and long) and giving your brain a rest. According to an article published by the University of Colorado Boulder, taking these breaks “can actually improve your performance.” However, it’s important not to take advantage of this rest time by sitting on your phone or lounging in bed. Physical activity such as going for walks or heading to the gym is way more beneficial, says the University of Nebraska Health Center.

get a good night’s sleep

It’s no secret that sleep is one of the most important things for the human body. Especially during times of elevated stress, getting a good night’s rest is another way of improving your academic performance, according to Dr. Guy Meadows at University College London. “Research demonstrates that individuals do less well in learnt tasks when they’ve been sleep deprived because it limits the access to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep,” says Dr. Meadows. Giving yourself a lot of time to rest is likely to take some of the stress off of your mind.

Establish a “study spot”

College campuses are full of spaces that allow students to study or complete assignments in a quiet, laid-back environment. For most schools, this includes the library, student union, or even study lounges in dorm buildings. Finding a place to rely on (in which you know that you can get your work done or study what you need to study) will likely be very effective. Location matters, and if you are in a loud and busy place trying to get work done, there is a higher chance of distractions.

chat with friends

Keeping up with social interaction during a stressful time is key to getting things off of your mind. If you’re a college student, it is likely that your friends are in the same spot as you. Talking to them about what you have coming up may give them the ability to let them that they can relate to you, and that you aren’t alone. Even if you aren’t chatting about schoolwork and midterms, having regular conversations as you do daily can help with giving yourself a mental break.

JMU Class of 2027 Communication Studies BA Major