5 Actual Self-Care Tips for Finals Week

There is no doubt that Finals Week is one of the most stressful (if not, the most stressful) week of each semester. It seems that an endless amount of assignments are thrown on your plate, on top of studying for your final exams. It can feel so overwhelming in the moment, but it will be worth it in the end when you have everything finished. You will feel accomplished and proud of yourself for making it through another semester and closer to your future! I hope these five self-care tips will help prioritize your mental health throughout this week and check in within yourself. I have used each of these tips, and they truly do help with clearing your mind while taking a break from the books.

  1. 1. Take ten minutes to journal what's on your mind, rant, or choose a creative prompt.

    When you have a headache from stress or your brain cannot stop thinking about everything you have to get done this week, take at least ten minutes to journal. Put your thoughts to your pen and onto paper. Writing is a channel to release stress and the thoughts replaying in your mind through getting them outside of your body. Physically writing your thoughts down or ranting about what is stressing you out will instantly make you feel more calm. You may even realize you do not have as much as you thought you had left to do when you look over it on a piece of paper. So, grab a piece of paper or a cute journal and a pen and get started! If you do not want to think about reality in the moment, you can always look up creative journaling prompts to let your creativity flow through writing. Here is a link that has a lot of good ones listed: https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/.

  2. 2. Take a walk while listening to an energizing soundtrack or album.

    I have recently been obsessed with the new Beetlejuice (Original Broadway Cast Recording) album, especially the song "Dead Mom" by Sophia Anne Caruso. That has been my go-to album to listen to when I am stressed or just want to listen to something to uplift my mood. Having an energizing playlist that you know the words to to pull up when you are stressed or overwhelmed is a key to making it through finals week. Just getting out of your study environment or dorm by going outside on a walk while listening to this playlist will help you refocus. Then, you will come back to your work with a refreshed mind and ready to tackle the rest of it. You deserve to jam out to fun music during breaks anyway since you have been working so hard!

  3. 3. Take a fitness class or workout for at least half an hour.

    Working out with a friend or group of people in a class can be so de-stressing and make you feel good about yourself! Dopamine is released whenever you workout, which puts you in a better mindset and mood afterwards. You will feel more confident in yourself and accomplished after doing a productive workout, even if it is for thirty minutes. Do thirty minutes of cardio, weight training, mat workouts, yoga, dancing, a sport, or a fitness class. Visit Millersville's Fitness Center webpage for the schedule of fitness classes they offer here on campus here: https://www.studentservicesinc.com/fitness-center/. Some require a ticket beforehand, so make sure to check if the one you are interested in requires one!

  4. 4. Make yourself a hot drink and cuddle up to a movie or episode.

    Snuggling in a fuzzy blanket and watching a movie or an episode of your favorite show can be so relaxing. Make yourself a mug of hot chocolate or coffee; maybe even add some marshmallows or whipped cream to make it even more tasty. You deserve a treat after making it through this semester! You can either watch something by yourself or gather a group of friends to watch it together. Sometimes instead of doing an active activity, you just need to lay in your bed and watch T.V. This will calm your nerves and make you feel relaxed after you're done with your work for the day or in between during a break. There are always plenty of options on Hulu, Netflix, and now Disney +.

  5. 5. Grab a meal or coffee with a friend.

    Grabbing lunch or dinner with a friend you have not seen in a long time can be fun! You can catch up on each other's lives and semesters, while also spending time taking a break from your studies. I'm planning on grabbing a meal with some of my friends I do not see a lot this week to spend time with them before the semester ends. Having another person to just be able to rant to or talk to about what you are going through can make you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. Having someone there to listen to you can feel so comforting and supporting through the week of finals. You can encourage each other that you are going to do amazing on your finals and assignments!

I hope these tips help you balance your mental health and your studies throughout Finals Week! It is very important to prioritize your mental health throughout college and check in with yourself, especially during this week. If you feel you have to talk to a professional about what you're struggling with, do not hesitate to reach out to a local therapist or the Counseling Center here at Millersville (located in Lyle Hall on campus). Do not be ashamed if you feel you need to take that step because a lot of students do, and all in all, it is for the betterment of your personal mental health. You should not let anyone else's opinions dictate how you feel about what you should do for yourself in this aspect. Good luck on finals, you've got this!

HCXO, Rachel

All images courtesy of Google Images.