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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

We’ve reached one of the most dreaded times of the year at UCD: midterm season. A time when late-night study sessions, chugging energy drinks, and somehow functioning on 3 hours of sleep become the new norm. Days go by fast, nights go by faster, and getting lost in midterm mania is a slippery slope. It’s important to remember to take a step back, breathe, and look after yourself.  Let’s find ways to de-stress together! 

Letting Go of Your Worries with Journaling 

I’ve found that putting pen to paper is a great way to ground yourself and take a breather. Let out all of your thoughts — the good and the bad. Once you’ve released every worry or doubt, remind yourself that you are above these fears and self-doubt has no control over you. Take this moment to acknowledge your strength and realize that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Once you put your doubts on paper, it is much easier to move forward and begin overcoming them. Journaling is a perfect outlet for stressful emotions and a way to remember that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for!  

Baking: The Sweetest Way to De-Stress 

Baking is a cathartic experience: take out your frustration while whisking and relax as the aroma of pastry perfection reaches you. Whether it be cookies, brownies, cake, or anything else in the confectionery world, baking is a relaxing, therapeutic process designed to put you at ease. When you bake, you’re simply living in the moment.  Baking, along with being a globally favored pastime, is the perfect way to reward yourself after a long day of studying. I can practically smell the sweet scent of chocolate chip cookies already.     

Clear Your Mind with Exercise  

Exercise is an important activity that can be incorporated into your routine no matter how hectic life gets, and its many forms allow for flexibility. If you favor cardio, take a walk/run outside, inhale the fresh air, and refresh your system. If you want something lower intensity, go for a slow-paced yoga or pilates workout video: these are extra helpful for mindfulness. You can even dance it out! Follow a Youtube video or cue your favorite Spotify playlist and break out your favorite dance moves. Any form of movement will release endorphins and help you immediately destress and regain a grounded sense of well-being. Pick your favorite and get started! 

Lose Yourself in a Movie Night 

My personal favorite: cuddle up on the couch and watch your favorite movie. Sit back and lose yourself in laughter and nostalgia. Create the coziest atmosphere possible by lighting a few candles and grabbing your favorite treats. I just recently watched the Disney Classic, Parent Trap, and it was such a fun way to destress and let the worries of midterms drift away. There’s nothing like a throwback movie session to take your mind off exams and give your brain a second to enjoy life. 

Time for yourself is necessary, especially in the tornado of midterm season. At the end of the day, we’re all our own worst critics, and it can be hard to let go of self-doubt and be confident in your abilities. Focusing on establishing a work-life balance is a great way to remind yourself that life beyond these exams is fulfilling and your capabilities know no bounds. Let out all of your worries, take a beat to have fun and unwind, and then go ace those exams. Good luck! I’m rooting for you all!

Alexa is a second year English major at UCD. In her free time, she loves baking, making Spotify playlists for her latest reads, and laughing with friends. She’s super excited to be part of HC this year!