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6 Ways To Take Care of Your Mental Health During Finals

Finals are an especially stressful time for students, and it can be hard to properly care for yourself during the mess of exams and papers. Here are some tips to take care of your mental health during finals week this semester!

1. Create a realistic list of goals for each day during finals week.

Although it may sound simple, lots of students forget that creating a simple to-do list can help you to stay focused and on top of your work. Setting realistic goals for yourself can give you an idea of what to expect during a study session, and offer a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you realize everything you’ve completed!

2. Make a study schedule (with breaks!) in line with your daily goals.

Having a specific schedule to follow can help you stay sane during finals and stay on task. To keep productive, aim for an hour of work, then a 15-20 minute break.

3. Relax the right way!

While it may be tempting to spend every study break scrolling through Instagram, getting some physical activity is important for your mental health. Go for a quick walk on some of your study breaks to help keep you focused and feeling relaxed. You can even stop by Swemromas on the way back for a coffee to get you going again!

4. Don’t forget to take care of your physical health!

Skipping meals and pulling all-nighters may seem like quick fixes when deadlines are looming, but in the long run they’ll leave you feeling burnt out. Space your studying out throughout finals week so you have time for three full meals a day and eight hours of sleep every night. While it may feel unproductive in the moment, it will be much better for your stress (and test results!) in the long run.

5. Plan time to relax.

No one can be expected to work non-stop for the entirety of finals. You need time to participate in activities you enjoy, whether that be spending time with friends, going on a Netflix binge, or hitting the rec. Plan time in your schedule to get out and have some fun. Swem also has relaxation resources for your study breaks – check out their website for information about snacks, coloring sheets, therapy dog visits, and more!

6. If you need a little extra help, make an appointment at the counseling center.

Sometimes no matter what you do, stress can become a bigger issue. If you feel like finals are really getting you down, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at the counseling center to talk with a professional. Appointments can be made by calling (757)-221-3620, or in person at the counseling center. All of the sessions are free for students. They also offer relaxation and mindfulness events throughout the semester, which can be found on the W&M website.


Remember to work hard and take care of yourself this finals week. You got this!


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