Midterms are coming up- how ready are you? Have you been studying your arse off, losing sleep, and possibly drinking more caffeine than the FDA recommends any individual to consume in a week, let alone in a night?
Whether that is you now or about to be you- first of all, GO YOU!! I am so proud of you for taking your grades into your own hands and giving it your all. However, please remember (in the midst of all that work) to de-stress. You could have mental health issues or be just a normally stressed-out college student for all I care- just try not to forget to take care of yourself. Not just your grades, but your body and mind need to rest occasionally as well. Here are a handful of ways that may help you relax and cope with all that’s going on in your life.
1. Don’t force it.
Procrastination is something many of us know very well. Heck- I’d definitely go as far as to say that working under stress and time limits are where I function best. But as for me mentally, it is extremely stressful to rush and get everything done. Go ahead and get what you can of studying and assignments out of the way as soon as you get them so that later on you aren’t crying in the library at 11:30pm because it’s about to close and you can’t rush fast enough to get everything done. Don’t force yourself into a situation that you could’ve avoided- it’s an amazing preemptive strike against letting additional mental issues trying to attack you in a moment of weakness.
2. Treat yourself.
Tom from Parks and Recreation said it best: “treat yourself.” Sometimes you don’t give yourself credit where it is due, and it makes you feel like you’re not doing good enough. It’s important to take a step back sometimes and just notice all the hard work you’ve done and celebrate. You finished a chapter of reading for a class you were originally behind in? Grab a small ice cream or coffee to let yourself know you are doing your best.
3. Stay healthy.
While it’s important to reward yourself when you do good work, it’s important to take your physical self in mind as well. Don’t forget to stay hydrated- with WATER, not just soda or energy drinks. Those are great for giving you a boost of energy, but personally they make me feel sick once I come down from the rush. Be careful and treat your body right, and you’ll get the best out of it. That also includes resting- if you’re not giving your body sleep, it’s not going to give you your best brain power or energy. That’s only fair.
4. Take your mind off it!
Sometimes you just have to let yourself go. One of my go-to ways to de-stress during exam dates is a girly night. I put on a good Pandora station or Spotify playlist, and download a free book on my phone and give myself a few hours to get a good hair mask and facemask. I’ll shave and use a bunch of bubbles everywhere to smell sooo good. It’s such a small thing and mostly seems like it’s physical, but it’s honestly a really good way to get your mind off of the stress, which is really important in my next point:
5. Take your mind off it.
Thinking things like “oh my goodness I am so behind” and “I’ll never figure this out” are NOT positive ways to think for your health. You need to think of things in ways that are good for you, or not think about them all. Either look at the problem you’re having and come up with a way to solve it, or calm down and leave it alone for a small time to put the issue into perspective. Come exam time, it’ll feel like everything is stressful, important, and impossible, but I promise you this: Not every issue you face during this time is the end of the world.
It may seem like time is against you, or that you’re running out of options and are hopeless. That’s just your anxiety talking, please don’t believe it. You can do this, you just need to remember that your health is more important than this one grade for a few classes. You are smart, bright individuals and can pull yourself back. Trust in yourself.