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Mental Health

Dealing With Finals Week Stress: Virtual Learning Edition

Finals week may look a little different this year for most college students. Usually, this week consists of too many Starbucks runs, late night hours at the library, group study dates and maybe a few breakdowns. While the ever-loving breakdowns are still very present, this finals week feels so different. It feels even more overwhelming and frustrating due to staring at a screen for long periods of time. Our current global situation mixed with trying to learn everything online can add a lot of extra stress. Here are some ways you can relieve your stress and take a break during finals week:

Take a walk!

You can take a walk, run, jog - whatever you need to do to just get your legs moving. Taking a walk will clear your mind and allow your brain to re-focus when you get back to work. It will also burn a few calories!

Eat a snack!

Sometimes when you are deep in work and loaded with stress, food slips your mind. Not only do you need food combat your hunger, it is extremely important for energy and brain function! My favorite go-to snacks are almond butter toast, chips and guac, pretzels and fruit! These are easy snacks that won't pull you away from work for too long.

Grab some coffee! 

Personally, I don't sit down to do any form of work without coffee! You can brew yourself a cup or swing through the Starbucks drive-thru to grab your fav drink! If you don't like coffee, try some tea to get that extra caffeine kick. 

Talk to a friend!

I think right now we are all desperate for a little human interaction. When you're freaking out about your assigment due in 3 hours, reach out to a friend for a second. This might help ground you and allow your mind to rest for a quick minute. Bonus: you get to catch up with a friend!

Write in a journal!

Write down how you're feeling and what is going on in your head! This will allow you to see exactly what is stressing you out. You might even be able to better prioritize your work when you see what is causing you the most stress. you could also use this time to write down anything that will bring you peace for a moment. If you're too cool for a journal, write on a piece of paper! 

Read something!

This could be a chapter of your favorite book, a Facebook post, a newspaper or even just this article. Reading for even a few minutes will give your brain time to focus on something that isn't about college or assignments or papers.

Move your body!

Whether it be yoga, HIIT, walking up and down your steps or pilates, move your body for a few minutes! Get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. If you've been sitting for a while looking at your laptop screen, your body will thank you for this moment of movement. 

Listen to music!

For me, music can always bring me to a calm place. If I'm overwhelmed, I usually listen to my favorite Hozier songs. Whether you need the music to boost your energy or calm you down, give your favorite artists a few minutes of your time! You could also add instrumental music or study beats into the background of you work session.

Whatever your finals week looks like, I'm sure there is at least some stress involved. Do your best to stay organized and try to remember that grades don't define you! Work hard, stay focused, give it your all and TAKE A BREAK! I hope these little things can make a big difference for your finals week stress!

HCXO, Laura

Laura Sheaffer

Millersville '21

My name is Laura Sheaffer and I am a senior at MU! I am a Speech Communications major with an option in Public Relations and minors in English, Writing Studies, Creative Writing & Publishing. I am active in Expressions Dance where I hold the position of the lyrical teacher and the public relations manager. I have been dancing for 18 years and love that I get to continue my passion at college. I am a personal trainer and a fitness instructor here at Millersville. When I'm not dancing or at the gym, you can find me at the library or a cute coffee shop! In my free time I enjoy reading, running and hiking.
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