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5 Ways to Reduce Stress during Finals Week

As it’s now the last week of the semester, you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  However, with an overabundance of projects, papers, and exams, that tunnel can seem dark and never-ending.  You’re at the point where sleep isn’t really a thing anymore, caffeine has become its own food group, and showering is not your number one priority.  With so much to do and so little time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.  Here are 5 simple ways to relieve stress and still manage to survive finals week!

Treat Yourself

Is it a coincidence that “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”? I think not! While it is especially important during finals week to maintain a healthy diet to keep up your energy level and prevent you from getting sick, rewarding yourself with a tasty treat every now and then is a great way to relieve some stress.  Set a goal like completing a paper, or studying for a certain amount of hours, and once you complete that goal grab some friends and indulge in something sweet!

Spend Time Outdoors

Since spring seems to only last for about 2 weeks of the entire calendar year here in Wisconsin, take full advantage of the beautiful weather and get outdoors!  Rather than being stuck in the library all day, bring your studies to the Terrace, Bascom hill, or the outdoor patio of the SAC.  That way you can hit the books and get some Vitamin D from soaking up the rays.  Talk about two birds, one stone!

Make a To-Do List

Do you ever feel like you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to begin, so you decide to go take a nap?  As great as some extra sleep is, perhaps a better solution to this dilemma is making a to-do list.  Sometimes simply making the to-do list can immediately make you feel less stressed and more organized.  By making lists, you can break down all of the major tasks you need to complete into smaller and more achievable goals.  Write down the tasks you want to accomplish for each day so you can better pace yourself and not feel so overwhelmed.  As you cross off each completed task, you will feel an instant sense of relief.  Not to mention, every completed task means you’re one step closer to summer!


Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health, but also for your mental health.  Going for a jog outdoors, lifting weights, or taking a yoga class are great activities for relieving stress and improving your mood.  Exercise is a great way to relax and forget about all of the projects, tests, and papers you have to complete for the time being.  If you’re really crammed for time, bring your notes to the gym to read through while you bike or run on the elliptical. 

Phone a Friend

As much as we love connecting with our friends via Snapchat, sometimes there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned phone call.  Take a 20 minute study break and catch up with your best friend that goes to school across the country.  Chances are, they’re going through the same thing as you right now and can relate to all of the things stressing you out too.  Catching up on the latest gossip or discussing what just happened on your favorite TV show can be a great mental break and the perfect way to relieve some stress.

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