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12 Small Ways You Can Take Care Of Yourself During Finals Week

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

It’s that time of the year again, for better or worse. The academic year is about to come to a close, but at the same time, that means it is time to conquer final tests, papers, and presentations. Before you can go on summer break or maybe before you graduate this year, you need to push through that dreaded one to two-week period and “lock in” one last time.

Finals season can be an extremely stressful, exhausting, and overwhelming time for any student, regardless of how well they are doing in their classes, preexisting mental illnesses, how much importance they place on their grades, and a multitude of factors. Academic pressure and stress are real, especially when your whole grade or graduation is riding on how you perform on one assignment or assessment. While it’s important to get your work done and finish strong, it is equally as important, if not more important, to make sure you give yourself grace and take care of yourself through the entirety of the process. You can not expect to do your best if you are running on a few hours of sleep, bogged down with anxiety, and stressed out of your mind. Grades are temporary, and you can try again or recover from a bad grade, but your mental well-being is forever and essential to your overall health, so you should never lose sight of it and actively put time into protecting it. 

It is easy to get caught up in the stresses that are sadly inherent to academics, but it is important this finals season to slow down, take a breath, and set aside purposeful time to nurture your well-being so you can put your best foot forward and then continue the academic grind. Setting aside intention and purposeful time to check in with yourself and unwind, even just for a minute or two between your studies, can help you protect your peace and feel less overwhelmed. 

Watch the sunrise

Watching the sunrise before you start the day’s grind can provide you with a moment of calmness that you can use to check in with yourself and mentally hype up yourself before you tackle the day and your studies. Sitting by your window, or even better, outside to watch the beautiful sunrise, can also benefit you by getting some sunlight in before you spend a portion of your day tucked away in classrooms or the library. 

Find a 10-minute stretch or yoga routine on YouTube

You don’t need to dedicate hours of your precious time to exercise at a gym or buy into an expensive yoga class. If you are short on time and your own room or space is where you are more comfortable, a good and quick stretch or yoga routine can be just as good to help your body release tension, improve your concentration, and get your blood flowing. 

Map out your day

For type A or goal-oriented students like myself, mapping out everything you need to accomplish for the day can have several positive benefits. Taking just a few minutes and a piece of paper (don’t worry, you don’t need any of those fancy planners or planning apps if you don’t want to use them) to list everything you need and want to get done can put your racing, overwhelmed mind at ease, as your goals can essentially give you a game plan for the day. Knowing everything you need to get done can also increase your productivity, so you intentionally get stuff done and then, as a result, have more time in your day to focus on everything you love outside of school work. 

Take a deep breath, fix your posture, unclench your jaw, and relax your shoulders

You might not even release it, but if you are stressed out and staying relatively sedentary for a significant portion of the day, your body can pay the price. Take a quick moment to check in on your body and listen to what it needs; this can include staying in your seat and stretching your back, getting up and touching your toes, twisting from side to side, or whatever else your body may call for. 

Go on a quick walk

Taking a quick walk can have multiple benefits, even if it’s just across the room or, even better, outside and around campus. A nice walk can help you clear your mind, get some sunlight (if outside), intentionally move and stretch your body, and ultimately give yourself a moment away from whatever you are working on, which is always a plus. 

Take a hot or cold shower

For me, I’ve learned this is something that really helps me to calm down, take a break, and refocus. If I feel myself radiating with anxiety and overwhelmed with everything on my plate, I’ve found that taking a cold shower can break up the feelings I am experiencing and reduce the stress and anxiety I am feeling. On the other hand, hot showers are also great, as they can relax your muscles that may be acting up as a result of stress.

Hug a loved one

Whether it be a friend, a partner, a parent, or a pet, hugging someone you love can be a source of relaxation and a way to gain emotional support that is needed to shift your mindset to a positive and healthy one to get you through finals season.

Play a quick game

From Wordle, to the crossword, Connections, or even Sudoko, there are a whole bunch of little games out there that can be a fun yet mentally stimulating break before you lock in again. 


Coloring can be a great way to take a break and unwind from all your schoolwork. Focusing on something easier and enjoyable, like a coloring page, can alleviate your stress and give you an opportunity to focus your mind on something simple and rewarding instead of often tiering and challenging assignments.

Look at positive affirmations

Whether it be writing words of affirmation on sticky notes and posting them around where you’ll see them or looking for the words of affirmation that speak to you online, words of affirmation can be the wind in your sails to keep you going while still protecting your peace. Quick reminders and motivating slogans can boost your mental well-being and help encourage positive and constructive self-talk as you may encounter difficult and stressful situations. 

Do a face mask

In my opinion, face masks are one of the best forms of easy and quick self-care! Not only are face masks themselves soothing, which can help with a bunch of negative emotions, but the act of putting on and sitting with a face mask on gives you time to sit down and simply be mindful of your body and its sensations as you wait for it to do its thing. 

Make plans for post-studying or finals week

It’s always good to look forward to something and have something you are working towards in order to keep you motivated. Get excited for when finals are over, and give yourself an incentive to get through them by making plans with people you love post-final season. Maybe plan a self-care night where you and your friends can pamper yourselves and get together, or simply have a night on the town! Regardless of what you plan to do after you’re done this semester, giving yourself something to look forward to can give you the hope and motivation you need to conquer the last few weeks of classes.

Kaleigh Lizotte

U Mass Boston '26

Kaleigh Lizotte is a chapter member at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Her Campus chapter. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Boston, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Wealth, Poverty, and Opportunity. Beyond Her Campus, Kaleigh works as a Resident Assistant for the university, where she enjoys making a positive impact on the dorm residents through everyday interactions and floor events. She has interned at the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice as an Immigrant Advocate, worked at her local YMCA summer camp as a camp counselor the past two summers, and is currently a student activist and president for the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Amnesty International chapter. Kaleigh hopes to put her community activist experience, legal knowledge, and passion to help others to practice one day as a defense attorney (public defender or similar field). In her free time, Kaleigh enjoys reading, listening to music and podcasts, thrifting, going on outdoor walks, and volunteering in her community. If not studying, she probably can be found obsessing over her new fixation of the month with her expertly curated Spotify playlist blasting in her ears.