How to Cope with the Stress of Finals

‘Tis the season to be stressed out, fa la la la la- la la la-la!

It’s finals season again and you know what that means- hiding in your room for hours on end watching Netflix and crying into a bag of chips before furiously studying material you probably won’t even need on the test anyway. Instead of crying, here are a few methods of dealing with that anxiety in healthy, productive ways:

1. Clean your room.

Odds are your room is a mess after a week of neglectful stress induced naps. Cleaning anything at all is referred to as “grounding” by a number of therapists and is extremely helpful in dealing with anxiety attacks. If you give yourself a short, physical task to complete, it will be much easier in the long run to deal with more mindful, larger tasks such as acing a final. Plus, you know that sweatshirt doesn’t belong on the ground, pick it up.

2. Watch Netflix

It might seem unproductive, but a couple of short episodes of Parks and Rec or Friends can help your brain relax after a particularly long study session. If your brain has time to reboot, you will absorb more information and be more successful in the long run.

3. Take a Nap

Stress can affect a lot of people in a lot of different ways. It’s important to note that one of the most common symptoms of anxiety is exhaustion. It’s extremely unhealthy to overwork yourself, especially if you’re already stressed out, so make sure to get, at the absolute least, 5 hours of sleep. It doesn’t matter if that’s in one big, traditional chunk or five 1 hour naps just as long as you get the actual sleep in you’ll be fine.

4. Make something.

Personally, I feel that painting is a really great stress reliever because it gives me something to focus on. It doesn’t have to be that involved though- you can even count coloring in a picture as making something. The point of this would be to let your brain check out from the material you need to study for a little bit so that you’re nice and refreshed when you get back into the groove.

5. Take a shower/bath.

This is another grounding task that many therapists recommend to their anxious patients. The point of doing this is to:

A) Wash off that 2 days worth of gross-ness you’ve been feeling since your last test 

B) Get you to focus on something other than your study material.

Make sure if your neck is really hurting to crank the water temperature up a little bit so that the heat can loosen up those tense muscles. For an extra bonus, take a bath with a bunch of lavender candles- lavender is a great stress reliever and keeping the lights low will allow your eyes to rest a little bit after staring at a blue screen all day.