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Mental Health

Self Care for Before, During, and After Finals

It is safe to say that this year has not been at all what we thought, and unfortunately, the events of this year have us asking, “What’s next?” as if the current circumstances will never end. With finals around the quarter for us all, it’s no surprise that we all might be feeling a bit more stressed than usual; however, soon we will get a short break free of school woes.

I want to talk about self-care. Self-care does not begin once finals end or stops when Winter Quarter begins. We need to practice self-care often so I decided to compile a list of ways I can practice self-care before, during, and after finals week this quarter. 

The week before finals I was already feeling quite overwhelmed. I am graduating at the end of Winter Quarter so I am doing my best to finish strong. I had multiple essays due on the same day, which made scheduling difficult because I was struggling to figure out how to tackle all of my work. I decided to make a detailed schedule in order to plan the times I would work on each assignment. Considering I had a very tight schedule in order to meet these essay deadlines, I was feeling very stressed, and I decided to take regular walk breaks in order to clear my mind and relax. I would also take some time before going to sleep where I would put my phone down and just meditate without any distractions.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

As finals week inches closer, I have been dabbling with new ideas for self-care while finals are happening. This quarter, my finals schedule is spread out pretty evenly over the course of the week, which I’m very thankful for. Because of this flexibility, I have created a self-care schedule. Each day for at least thirty minutes, I am scheduling a small activity that will make me feel relaxed. Normally, during finals week, I overwhelm myself and forget to take care of myself, and sometimes forget to eat, and sleep regularly. However, I am meal prepping to make sure that I have a healthy meal to eat each day, and I am making sure to be asleep at a reasonable hour (around 10:30 PM) to make sure that I can get an early start the next morning. I have also decided to use the beginning of my morning to take some time to reflect on how I am feeling before I move forward and rush into studying or working on projects. 

Person running
Photo by Emma Simpson from Unsplash

Lastly, I plan to continue this self-care routine after finals. My roommate (also one of my closest friends) gave me a book for my birthday, and I plan to relax and read over the two-week break. I have also decided to get back into making collage art as well. My time at UC Davis is swiftly coming to an end as graduation nears, and I plan to soak in every moment until then. So, pick up a good book, watch your favorite TV show, or spend some time on TikTok, if you can. Use your free time to rest and work on a hobby you love – you deserve it!

Madi is currently a fourth-year student at UC Davis majoring in English and Poltical Science. She is currently a marketing intern for the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. Her favorite hobbies are reading, making Spotify playlists, and grabbing lattes with her girls! 
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