5 Ways to Manage Stress During Midterms

We’re at that point in the semester where everyone gets the post-Spring Break blues, and the next time we’ll get the chance to really relax and not have school on our minds is Summer Break. Stress starts to settle in, and we’re told that we need to do everything in our power to reduce stress because it’s detrimental for our health — which causes even more stress. Try some of these tips to take extra care of yourself and make these next few weeks of midterms, projects and papers run smoothly.

1. Try not to abandon your routine.

Okay, so you skipped a shower this week, or you went to the gym three days instead of four. Big deal. However, don’t completely give up on all your daily self-care habits that you already maintain in your busy schedule. That means no skipping meals, always taking your makeup off before bed and getting as much sleep as you can. Throwing your routine off balance can add unneeded chaos to your week.

2. Take a break, but put down your phone first.

It’s important to take little breaks in between stretches of studying for your test or writing your paper, but they’re much more effective when you spend them away from the over-stimulation of your phone or laptop. Make some brownies. Go work out. Paint your nails. Your mind has been running at full speed so be sure to let it turn off and zone out for a bit before getting back to work.

3. Eat well.

So this might be one that you’ve been trying to work on regardless, but it’s especially important now. Eating poorly can make you feel poorly, and having a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a chore, either. Check out some of these quick but healthy snacks to eat between meals during your craziest days.

4. Talk to a friend about it.

When we’re stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, which is appropriately known as “the stress hormone.” At the same time, our bodies often release oxytocin, a hormone with many purposes, one of which is forming a bond with other people. Reaching out to others for help or even just consolidation is one of the oldest stress-reducers in the book. This makes just hanging out and talking to your roommates an effective study break in addition to the ones mentioned earlier.

5. See stress in a positive light.

Check out this Ted Talk by Kelly McGonigal. She talks about a study where those who were stressed but didn’t view stress as a negative thing had just as few health problems later in life as those who didn’t struggle with stress. Try viewing it as a sign that you’re working hard on something that will pay itself off in the end: a chance at an internship, the best GPA of your college career or having a positive impact on your community. Sure, you might feel stressed now, but it’ll feel worth it one day.

Whether you’re in the depths of midterms or not, add some of these tricks to your routine and you’ll be sure to kill it the rest of the semester!