It’s that time of the semester again, ladies: midterms. With your intimidating to-do list staring back at you from your planner, getting through all of the reading, presentations, and exams you have may almost seem impossible. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to de-stress, so that maybe you can write that ten-page paper after all.
Practice time management and avoid procrastinating, although this is much easier said than done. It’s important to set priorities and goals and to focus on only one task at a time. Carve out a specific time in your schedule to do homework and study, and nothing else. I also find it helpful to make a list of all my assignments in the order in which I need to complete them. If I have a paper due the next day, that goes at the top of my list, and reading that isn’t due until later that week falls to the bottom.
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Meditate and find ways to help yourself relax. There are countless guided meditation videos on YouTube that can help decrease stress and feelings of anxiety. I often find myself visiting www.donothingfor2minutes.com, a website that has a timer for two minutes and the sounds of the ocean in the background, so that you can do nothing but relax for two whole minutes (which actually feels a lot longer than it is). Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, is also a great tool to help you relax. I have this (https://tinyurl.com/targetdiffuser) essential oil diffuser from Target that I swear by; I can’t live without it! Essential oils like lavender, lemon, and rose have been scientifically proven to help relieve stress.
Take study breaks and find an outlet. Research shows that students who take a five to fifteen-minute break for every hour of studying do so more effectively. Make sure you choose a positive activity to fill the time. Although Netflix and naps may feel like good distractions, they aren’t the best ways to spend your study breaks. Instead, try taking a walk outside for some fresh air and a change in scenery, making yourself a healthy snack, or decluttering/reorganizing your space.
Build a strong support system. Surround yourself with loved ones, and be sure to build time into your schedule for spending quality time with others. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, reaching out for help is encouraged! You can always seek help from your university’s counseling services, your student advisor or a resident assistant, or a doctor/therapist.
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Last but not least, treat yo self! Splurge on that $15 manicure, and buy yourself that Starbucks drink you’ve been craving! Midterms season is hard, and you deserve it. Good luck!