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Combatting the Mental Health Challenges of Finals Week

After 15 weeks of papers, quizzes, exams and the in-between bouts of procrastination, the dreaded finals week is here. It’s the last week to finish up the things you’ve pushed off all semester and cram as much as possible to save your GPA. Oftentimes, in the midst of all the chaos, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself guilty of this. I went to bed at 1 am or later at least twice per week, I wasn’t eating enough nutritious foods, and I wasn’t giving myself enough breaks throughout the day. After three weeks of this vicious cycle, my emotional and physical health ended up being at an all-time low. I knew there was no way I would be able to be successful academically if I did not recharge my body, mind, and soul. This week, I will share with you things that I did to overcome the rut I was in, and how I am using this new energy to prepare for my finals.


Listen to Your Body

The first and most important thing that I did was take the time to step back and reevaluate how I was feeling. I knew something was not right as I was super unmotivated and my productivity was very low. At first, I chalked it up to just the tiredness of the semester but then I realized that it was more than that. I compared how I was feeling at the end of last semester to how I’ve felt these last few weeks and realized there was a huge disconnect.  

Rakicevic Nenad / Pexels

I took time each day to document how I was feeling and to see whether or not it was a result of my sleeping and eating patterns. It turns out that on the days that I was feeling really unmotivated, unproductive or anxious, I also slept a maximum of 5-6 hours. Being someone who usually sleeps for 8 hours, I immediately noted that as something I should work on changing. Over the past week, I have gotten closer to 8 hours of sleep and not only has my anxiety decreased but my productivity improved.



Mediation is another thing that helped me recharge my emotional energy. I used a mindful app, Mindfulness Daily, and realized that it really helped to put things in perspective and to calm my racing thoughts. I found it useful to just take five minutes and remind myself that even though I may be stressed about upcoming assignments, I should take a deep breath and be grateful that I am alive and well. I personally do not do yoga consistently to consider myself good at it. However, the few times that I’ve tried it, I noticed that it released the tensions I experienced in my muscles.  

Make a Playlist

Whenever I am stressed, finding the right music to combat my moods works wonders. I either create a new Spotify playlist or I choose one of the Mood playlists I have already created. I also found that using different types of music for different activities or assignments helps to switch things up.

Eats Foods to Fuel Your Brain

I’ve come to realize that the foods I eat have a major impact on my mood. Switching my diet to incorporate more nutritious energy-rich foods gave me the fuel to tackle all the things on my to-do list.


 Kaboompics.com / Pexels

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I hope you are able to find some inspiration to get you through these last few weeks. Just think about it, within two weeks, this could be you on some tropical island living the best life.

Artem Bali / Pexels

You got this girls!!!!


I am a college freshman at Loyola University Chicago, studying business administration and psychology.
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