Feeling stressed during Finals week? All semester, you go to class, do the homework, and take the tests while trying to maintain an outside life. I think we can all agree that the weeks of Midterms and Finals are a little more stressful than others. The pressure that college students feel is intense, and we put a lot of that pressure on ourselves. How do we take accountability for our mental health during this time?
Here are 5 simple ways to reduce stress:
Take care of your body
It's much harder to perform well if you aren't feeling well. Stress can manifest in many different ways, but taking care of yourself during this time should ease some tension. These tips may seem obvious, but we all need a reminder sometimes!
- Eat well - Consume foods that are good for you and foods that make you feel good.
- Stay active - Move your body by doing stretches, yoga, lifting weights, or dancing. If you don’t enjoy those things, even just going for a short walk can help your body (and mind) feel so much better.
- Get enough sleep - It’s easy to take sleep for granted, but it is so important. Our bodies need to be refreshed and ready to start a new day.
Find an outlet
What makes you feel good? Is there something you really like to do? During times of high stress, it is important to immerse yourself in these things - double down on what works for you. Whether you enjoy watching a movie, socializing with friends, exercising, or getting creative. Think about what fills you with joy and fit that into your week.
When feeling stressed, you may tend to over-evaluate everything. Practicing mindfulness can help with this. It may be easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be a challenge! Being mindful is just being aware of the present moment. Notice your surroundings like the scenery, scents, or sounds. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to relax. You can learn more about using art as a mindfulness practice in this blog.
Set realistic expectations
Don’t overwork yourself or expect to get everything done at once. It’s easy to get caught up in your to-do list when feeling overwhelmed. Manage your time by breaking your to-do list into smaller chunks. Write down your goals for the day, try to stick to your routine, and you’ll be able to see the progress. Remember to check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need.
Talk to your support system
Take the time to talk to those around you. Talk to your parents, siblings, roommate, or your significant other. Be open about how you feel, and surround yourself with people who help you make you feel better. Utilize your resources. Many universities have free tutoring and counseling. There are so many people in your corner, so don’t be afraid to ask for support!
You've got this!
When you start to feel the pressure build, remember these 5 tips for reducing stress. Double down on what works best for you! One more final down is one step closer to getting that degree. Be proud of yourself and celebrate the wins!
Co-written by: Nyanda Walker-Potts