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3 easy tips for dealing with stress during finals season

With the semester reaching an end, we are all starting to feel the pressure of the upcoming final exams. With assignments to submit, essays to write, and on top of the reviews to prepare, stress is naturally called into action. Here are three easy tips for dealing with these highly stressful moments:

Breathing exercises

Stress can manifest physically in the form of a cold sweat, uneasy feeling, rapid heart rate, all of which are symptoms that can make us feel even more uncomfortable than we already are. Since meditation is not for everyone, breathing exercises can be used to help reduce stress. They are also easier to complete and require little practice. The point of breathing is to concentrate in your bodily state and reduce the lingering feeling of uneasiness. Apps like Calm or Headspace have free options for breathing exercises. You can set your own timer and listen to some relaxing sounds while doing it either sitting or lying down. 

Breathing exercises allows you to have a couple of minutes just breathing and gives you the chance to not think about your responsibilities for a brief moment without feeling guilty about it. 

Listening to white noise

Listening to your favorite song is usually enough to keep you entertained while working, but sometimes the feeling of stress can be too much and can even provoke headaches. Whenever you get a headache that simply won’t go away, or maybe you are starting to feel tired or sick, white noise may be able to ease your mind. When in an unstable mind state, music can be ironically too loud, that is why it is sometimes best to just let your head breath and focus more on the assignment at hand.

White noise is typically used for sleep, but the ability to create a relaxing environment can be really helpful when studying. Some other alternatives can be listening to instrumental jazz like music by guitarist Justice Der, or some Lo-fi without lyrics like famous Chilledcow on YouTube.

Taking scheduled in-between breaks

This tip seems a bit obvious, but it is actually a bit tricky to figure out. At the moment it may seem like there is barely anytime for anything else other than studying. Cramming seems like the one and only option to feel prepared. The problem with cramming is that it is not the best way to study for most people. Trying to fit as much information as possible is sometimes a recipe for disaster since you can’t keep track of what you are and are not actually understanding. 

Giving yourself a 10-to-15-minute break can make a huge difference. You get the chance to breath, let the information sink in and look away from the computer. The trick to get this one right is to not get distracted by other things. Try having a quick drink or snack, do some light stretches or draw a little doodle. The moment you turn on your phone, the break becomes a distraction which will ultimately only add to the your stress.

Ligia Garcia

U Ottawa '23

Ligia is a Communication student at Uottawa and an active contributing writer at the school's chapter. She loves everything related to media, from following the latest TikTok trend to breaking down a movie's characters and themes.
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