Find Time For Yourself During Finals Week

Finding time for yourself during the finals grind can often feel impossible. I often hear people say, “I’ll sleep when finals are over,” or, “Netflix? I don’t have time for that!” But keeping a healthy balance between work time and personal time is an extremely important element of mental health. Recognizing that taking time off from homework to treat yourself can be anxiety inducing when there are papers to write and exams to study for, here are a few extremely time-efficient ways to relax and reduce stress or anxiety during a study break:

1.10 Minute Snack Break:

Pick a favorite food or drink (especially something comforting!) and find a spot where you can be alone, or at least undisturbed. Set a timer on your phone for about 10 minutes (more or less, depending on your time constraints). During this time, focus only on your snack. Push thoughts of work out of your head, and only think about the fuel you’re giving your body and the yummy taste. If anxious thoughts about studying or finals creep back into your head, promise yourself that you’ll entertain them once the timer has gone off, and then push them out of your head as you focus back in on your snack.

2. Caffeine Nap:

If your body is feeling sluggish, but you need to put just a couple more hours of work in, and don’t have time to sleep, this is a great option. Of course it’s no substitute for a full 8 hours, (which I recommend you all get!), but it’s a quick fix for finals week. Drink a caffeinated beverage, set an alarm on your phone for about 15 minutes, and then treat yourself to a nap! The caffeine will kick in while you sleep, so you’ll wake up energized rather than groggy (and maybe a little jittery).

3. Meditation:

There are tons of apps and YouTube videos dedicated to guided meditation exercises. Try out a short one! You might love it, and even if you hate it, you’ve only wasted a couple minutes. Check out this Cosmo article for some good ones!

4. Seven-minute Workout:

Get your blood pumping and take your mind off work for just a few minutes! Seven-7 Minute Workout, available in the app store, is a free app that guides you through body-weight exercises, so you don’t need any equipment! Sometimes, getting up and moving is exactly what you need to counteract the finals brain-fog and get the ideas flowing for that paper you still have to write.


Listening to your favorite song and having a mini dance party is probably (definitely) the best way to destress, especially if it’s with friends. Put on your anthem (everybody has one, and if you haven’t found it yet, work on that), the one song that truly describes your deep, inner turmoil, and let it all out. Dance in front of the mirror, jump on your bed, and go annoy your friends. You are so close to being done with this semester. You can make it through!


I hope some of these suggestions helped you destress, time-efficiently. But at the end of the day, do whatever makes you happy. Finals are not the end-all be-all, and your grades on these exams and papers are no measure of your success or happiness in life. You can do this.