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Another quarter has flown by and finals are almost upon us. This year so far has been different in many ways, and in some cases, more stressful. The nature of virtual classes can make you feel like you’re constantly in classes or meetings, constantly submitting assignments and not really getting a break to recuperate. As we approach a busy end to the quarter, it’s important to take care of yourself to prevent burnout. Here are some ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your finals week. 

Go for a walk!

We’ve been so lucky to have some warm weather in the past week. It’s only right to use this opportunity to spend time outside and away from your laptop. Walking is a great way to get a bit of exercise after sitting on Zoom calls, and it allows you to get some fresh air outside of your room. You can also use the time that you spend as a meditative or mindful time, where you focus your attention only on your walk and let go of thoughts regarding your other responsibilities, assignments and commitments. Going for a walk can give positive benefits to both your mental and physical health if you’re feeling stressed.

Meditate

If you feel like your mind has been racing or can’t seem to take your attention and worries off of your workload, meditation might be a good way to stabilize your attention and clear your mind a bit. The beauty of meditation is that there are so many different ways that you can do it: you can sit or walk, listen to music or a guided meditation and focus on your breathing, repetitive mantras or visualization. There are also a lot of great resources online to help with your practice, like Headspace, Calm or even YouTube videos.

Journal

Journaling can be helpful for your mindfulness if you are feeling overwhelmed and need to refocus or figure out your priorities. It can help you organize your thoughts and difficulties in a way that makes them manageable to approach them. You can choose to free-write when you journal or follow specific prompts to develop more of a focus for your writing. For example, if you are feeling stressed or frustrated, it may be helpful to focus your writing on things that make you happy or make you feel empowered.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude can be a powerful tool for battling negative emotions and stress. Taking time to reflect on the things in life that you are grateful for can help force yourself out of a funk. Gratitude can also help strengthen your relationship with others, and social support can be really impactful for mindfulness. Practicing gratitude can be a great way to boost your motivation in the midst of finishing the quarter.

Give yourself a break

If all else fails, there’s nothing better than truly giving yourself time to just be. Breaks are crucial for recuperating fully from the toll that the stress of finals week takes on your mind and body. It’s easy to feel like you have to constantly be productive, especially in our current virtual world. Even now, we all need to take some time to log off and exist outside of school, work and other responsibilities. 

These are just a few of the many ways mindfulness can be implemented in your finals week. It’s important to prioritize wellbeing and mental health, especially in these stressful and uncertain times. Whether you’re trying one or all of these suggestions, your mind and body will thank you for taking the time to care for yourself.

Harlym Pike

Northwestern '22

Harlym Pike is a senior from Charlotte, North Carolina studying psychology, sociology, and theatre at Northwestern. In her free time, she loves to perform with her a cappella group, create content, and spend time with friends.
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