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4 tips for managing finals week stress

College students sitting at a table and having a good time

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year. Finals! What’s not to love about cumulative tests worth 40% of your grade, caffeine jitters from seven cups of coffee before noon or even giant eyebags informing everyone and their mother that you in fact did not get a good night’s rest?

Whether this is your first time or your last time tackling finals week, feeling stressed and overwhelmed is pretty common. That’s why it’s important to make time for ourselves this week. We cannot expect to perform well in the classroom if we are not taking care of our mental and physical health. Here are some tips to help you manage your stress during finals week:

1. Bring your favorite snacks and a water bottle with you to study

Hunger leads to stress and poor cognitive performance. Hunger also leads to hanger, which is a mood we all want to avoid. Take a break from studying and enjoy a boost of energy from a white chocolate macadamia nut Cliff Bar or a banana with peanut butter. These snacks can keep you satisfied while studying and hold you over until your next meal.

Additionally, having a water bottle on hand will keep you hydrated while studying. Dehydration leads to headaches and brain fog, two things we want to avoid when studying for important exams.

2. Indulge in self-care

Embrace your inner Donna and Tom and “Treat Yo Self” to an overpriced latte or a full body massage. Self-care is all about doing what is best for your mental and physical wellbeing. It can be as simple as taking a stroll around campus or listening to your new favorite album on repeat… cough SOS cough.

Finals week is a stressful period, and we can easily lose ourselves in the endless notes. Remember to take time for yourself. This also includes prioritizing sleep. Ensure you get enough sleep every night because it is vital to your overall health.

3. Spend time with friends

Allot some time out of your day to spend time with other human beings. It’s very likely that your friends are also stressing over finals, so destress together. Bake some chocolate chip cookies together or watch a nostalgic movie or both.

Also, call your parents or your siblings. They miss your voice, and I’m sure you miss theirs too. Hearing your loved ones talk about how their day is comforting and a nice mini break from your stressors.

4. Break out a sweat

Exercising is a great way to decompress and release muscle tension associated with stress. It can be as easy as taking a 10-minute break to stretch and relax your body.

Personally, I schedule workouts between study sessions to prevent burnout and reset myself before studying again. It also helps me determine what I have retained and what sections I need to focus more on. Lifting followed by long stretching sessions at Baun are my preferred workout.

Here the hours of various workout gyms across campus:

  • Baun Fitness Center
    December 12-16
    6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

    December 17-18
    10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Janssen-Lagorio Gym (JL)
    December 12-15
    6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Open Gym
  • Main Gym
    December 13, 15 and 16
    Noon – 1:30 p.m., Noonball

Just one last week and then you can go home to old friends and family, sleep in without worrying about missing class and forget all academic responsibilities for a month.

Keep grinding it out academic weapon, you got it!

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