Finals week is one of the most stressful times of college. There’s so much that needs to be done, and there’s often very little time left to do it. As deadlines approach, it’s easy to let the stress get the best of you, to the point where you feel as though you’re destined to fail. Before you let your stress consume you, try these four tips to de-stress.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. Exercise releases endorphins which help you to feel happier and more relaxed. Opt for a more relaxed type of exercise, like taking a hike with friends or a bike ride around town. Because your time is probably in short supply right now, limit your exercise to 30 minutes, so you don’t feel even more stressed about spending too much time away from the books.
Eat healthy meals and snacks
Stress often makes you crave sugary and unhealthy foods. It may make you feel better now, but it’s not doing you any favors in the long run. While junk food gives you short-term energy, it isn’t sustainable. It affects your mood and concentration and will quickly make you crash. Fueling up with healthy, whole foods will give you the energy to make it through a tough study session and better help you retain the material you’re learning.
While you have a lot of assignments and studying to do at this time of the year, that doesn’t mean you should push through it all without stopping until you’re finished. Taking regular breaks helps to give your mind a rest. Try the Pomodoro Technique if you’re unsure how to take breaks properly. Work on the task at hand for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes is up, take a 5-minute break. After completing this cycle four times, take a 15 to 30-minute break, and repeat from the beginning. Use these breaks to get away from your work, even if it just means walking to a different floor in the library for five minutes.
One of the best ways to reduce stress during finals week is to make sure you’re staying organized. Keep a planner and write down everything: all of your deadlines, when and where your exams are, and when you’re going to work on each assignment. You can even schedule when you’ll take breaks. Having everything written down ensures that you’re not letting anything important fall through the cracks by only keeping track of things in your head.