Finals week is peak performance time: Your grades depend on how well you do on exams final papers. Juggling all of your finals can be extremely stressful and often leads to less sleep, stress eating and all-nighters. This year, take control of your stress with easy, inexpensive stress-reducing techniques. Chances are, you know that going for a walk or talking with a friend will alleviate some of that stress that's getting in the way of your productivity. What else can you do to de-stress and get through finals without spending a lot of money?
In this post:
1. Work Out on the Quick
Especially during finals time, you may not be able to make it across campus to the gym. If you keep a weight set in your dorm room, you can incorporate brief workouts into your study time. Sometimes, after sitting around all night studying, it can feel really good just to get up and move your muscles — and you may notice you can focus better after moving around. Work in a short arms routine using weight sets, spend 15 minutes doing jumping jacks and crunches or find time for a quick yoga routine. You'll find you get the same physical release as going to the gym, but without the distraction of getting changed, going to the gym, and post-gym showering. Since you don't even have to leave your room, there's no chance you'll run into friends and get distracted from that studying.
2. Give Yourself Permission to Relax
Often it can seem like until that last final is over, all you can do is study. However, it's better for you mentally if you let yourself take breaks — when they're deserved. So once you draft that 15-page paper, give yourself a half-hour to an hour to watch your favorite television show, play video games, or head to a campus event. Most college campuses try to offer stress-reducing events during finals time because they know how hard it can be for students. So give yourself permission to attend that dorm-wide ice cream social or level up in your favorite game. The break will help you relax and let go of some of that finals anxiety. Plus, most of the things you can do to relax cost nothing!
3. Play with Pets
It's fairly common knowledge that petting animals release endorphins that can make you feel better. Some colleges have started bringing dogs and other pets to campus to give students some stress-release during finals time. If your school has no plans to do this, look for faculty members that have pups or walk by local dog parks to see some furry friends.
4. Study Smarter, Not Harder
While you may feel alone during this stressful time, you're not. Take advantage of formal and informal group study sessions to brush up on tough subjects, discuss final paper topics or even just vent your anxiety to folks who'll understand. Studying with other people gives you the chance to be social while remaining focused on your studies. And you never know: Someone else's tips and tricks on memorizing names and dates for that big history exam might just help you ace it.
While these tips will help, putting yourself on a schedule and sticking to it will also decrease the anxiety and panic regarding end-of-the-semester deadlines. Take some deep breaths, face your workload and draw up a schedule that leaves you enough time to accomplish everything. Try to incorporate one of these stress release techniques every day to lessen finals anxiety.