How to Handle Stress During Finals

Every semester, finals week manages to creep up too quickly. Before you know it, you have multiple project deadlines to meet and a ton of exam prep to tackle. Suddenly, you are pulling all-nighters, trying to write prolifically, remember formulas, and retain endless information. The stress begins to pile up, and you feel overwhelmed.

So how do you make sure you don’t feel as though stress is swallowing you whole? Here are some tips on how to handle finals week stress.


Prepare a Plan of Study

Creating a plan of study can set you up for success. If you don’t give yourself enough time to cover your course material, you will end up cramming lots of information you probably won’t remember.

Prioritize studying for exams that come first, but don’t ignore studying for later exams. Focus on two courses a day and divide up the work based on chapters. This approach will help keep your focus.

The most important thing is to set realistic expectations. If you schedule too much work for one day, there is no way you will complete it. By setting an appropriate study schedule, you will get more accomplished in less time and feel more productive.


Create an Energizing Environment

The environment in which you study can significantly affect your mood. The ideal environment is different for every student, so visualize in what settings you do your best work. If you need silence, head over to the library and pick a spot on one of the silent floors. If you need a little background noise, choose a location that allows talking or perhaps head over to the Student Union.

Studying in your room is always an option but can provide distractions. When trying to stay focused, it might be best to find somewhere that isn’t surrounded by things that might steal your attention.

The people around you can play a part in your success as well. If you can’t keep yourself on track, try forming a study group with other students in your class. They might offer you tips that will help you ace your exam. If you can’t arrange a study group, surround yourself with friends or students that are academically motivated, that will keep you working towards your goal.


Take a Break

While keeping focused is essential, it is necessary to take breaks and give your brain a rest. Studying nonstop can be counterproductive and leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If your mind starts to wander, or you’ve read the same sentence twenty times, try stepping back, and take a deep breath.

Another option is to shower. Taking a warm shower can help you relax while taking a cold shower will revive and refresh you before your next round of studying.

You can also try watching an episode of your favorite television show. This break can be relaxing on the brain and bring joy to a stressful moment. Although, use caution. If you are the type to keep hitting the next episode button, your break can turn into a 5-hour horror story. 

If you are feeling stressed out, sometimes the break you need is a phone call to a friend or family member. It is okay to admit that you’re overwhelmed, and sometimes talking about it might be what you need. Perhaps they’ll offer you the words of encouragement that will get you over the wall of stress you’re experiencing.


Take Care of Yourself

Studying for exams can be time-consuming, but you still need to make time for self-care. Make sure you set aside time to meet your physical and emotional needs.

To start, make sure you are eating foods that will sustain your energy throughout the day. Studying uses a lot of mental strength, so it is vital to fuel your body properly. Also, remember to drink lots of water to keep hydrated and fresh.

Exercise can be beneficial when going through a stressful period. You don’t need to go to the gym and workout hardcore for an hour. Taking a quick walk or some gentle yoga may do the trick. Getting your blood flowing will be a nice change from being cooped up studying.

Finals are a stressful time for all students, but know you’ll make it through. Good luck, everyone! 







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