4 Ways to De-Stress During Finals

Finals can be a stressful time for anyone. All of a sudden you find yourself sleeping less, eating more processed foods, and becoming quickly frustrated by the most miniscule things. Don’t fret, though, because I’m betting you that most of your peers are feeling the same way. If you don’t believe me then look at the facts: more students have started wearing their pajamas around campus, the library is suddenly packed like never before, and Blanchard is becoming is more and more the hotspot for everyone’s quick meals.

More often than not I see a student panicking on the phone (probably seeking advice from a loved one), someone passed out on one of the couches in the library, or someone crying while blankly staring at their computer screen. Complaining about the inevitable or crying about how stressed you are isn’t necessarily going to help you - it’s only going to suck time away from quality studying. Here’s a piece of advice from me to you: make sure to take time for yourself. Now, I know you might be scoffing or laughing at me, but finals week is comparable to a marathon. If you exhaust yourself at the very start then you are never going to make it to the end. Sometimes some tender loving care is all you need to boost your self-esteem and put you in a better mood. So, here’s a compilation of all of the different things I have tried and still use to this day to clear my mind and get me ready to tackle all of my exams with confidence!

1. Meditation

Although I am not too fond of meditation on a daily basis, as I am not trained nor do I have the patience for it, I do find it very effective when the world seems to be toppling off of my shoulders. When I’m on the brink of having to write twenty different assignments I find it really difficult to take the time to clear my mind and give myself a break. I love using the headspace app because it provides me with guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. It is very effective and is as simple as putting in my earbuds and allowing myself to relax.


2. Sleep

Sleep! The dreaded activity any student enduring finals avoids with their life. Sleep is one of the most vital things we need to be a fully functioning human, yet so many people avoid it like the plague. I have heard of people trying to rewire their brains to function fully off of two or three hours of sleep- I know, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. However, so many people commit this heinous act on the daily, especially during finals season. So, please take me seriously when I say this, get some sleep. Just to perform your daily functions you need a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep, and then some. While in rest your brain is able to absorb all of the information you learned during the day and this actually helps you perform better on your exam. You will be more alert and remember more of the information to ace your test.


3. Distraction

This one is totally open to interpretation. Basically, anything that doesn’t have to do with school is a distraction in itself. For example, I love watching one episode of a TV show on Netflix to distract myself before diving deep down into my studies. You, on the other hand, may favor a conversation with one of your friends on the phone, or even take a few BuzzFeed quizzes online. Whatever the distraction, make sure you keep it unrelated to your assignments because the last thing you want to do is be reminded of your studies while you’re trying to take a break.


4. Exercise

This one has to be my all time favorite thing to do, especially during finals. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I find it really difficult to make it to the gym, especially during finals week when I would rather be studying (I know, I can’t believe I said that either). But, having said that, hitting the weights or doing some HIIT sprints on the treadmill is all I need to get me in the zone and give me a productive outlet to clear my head and release some pent up frustrations. Even if the workout is 30 minutes, going out and getting active is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind, especially when in the heat of exams season.

I know it is difficult to take time for yourself in the midst of finals week, but even trying out one of the things on this list can make the greatest difference in your mood. Crush your exams, but also don’t forget about your mental well-being in the process; last thing you want to do is have an anxiety attack in the library because you never gave yourself time to take a break.


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