How to stay stress free during finals
Stress is inevitably a part of life during finals week and can affect things like memory and cognitive performance. However, there are several ways to combat your anxiety and help yourself stay stress free:
Take short breaks
Studying for hours at a time can really take a toll on your stress levels. Things may start to seem overwhelming. If they do, it’s always a good idea to take a few short breaks. Ideas for quick breaks include watching 15 minutes of TV or chatting with a friend. Although it may not seem like a lot, getting your mind off of school, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, can make a big difference.
Breaking a sweat is a great way to reduce stress levels during finals. When we exercise, our heart gets pumping and our brain produces more endorphins, or feel-good neurotransmitters. These endorphins help to improve your mood and may even get you a better night’s sleep.
If you’re simply too busy to exercise, no worries. There are plenty of ways to sneak in physical activity during the day like walking your dog, taking the stairs or even cleaning the house. These small tasks may not seem like much, but they will aid in keeping your stress levels at a minimum.
Make a list
Thinking of all the things you have to do by the end of the day can prove to be a daunting task. However, merely making a list can help to make your life a bit easier. By writing things down, you’re giving yourself more manageable assignments. As you finish each item on the list, cross them off. This will make the entire process seem much less overwhelming and you’ll have a sense of accomplishment, giving you motivation for the next chore on the list.
Catch some z’s
If it’s 3am and you still haven’t completed that research paper, it may be best to put it aside and go to bed. Sleep can be a great stress regulator and provides an outlet of escape. Even a few hours of rest can help: you can get up a little earlier next day and take another look at the assignment with a fresh pair of eyes.
While stress may be a frequent visitor during your program, it’s how you manage that anxiety that makes all the difference.