It’s that time of year again. Finals are coming and you’re stressing out. College is supposed to some of the best years of your lives but end of year exams certainly put a damper on that. Five exams in five or so days? Colleges definitely do not advertise this on their website. So how will you survive? You may feel drastically overwhelmed and like you’re drowning in notecards, textbooks, and long-term projects. Therapy may seem like a great resource to help you destress but with sessions ranging from 75-200 dollars per hour, this can be quite pricy on a student’s budget. So now what? Well, here are 10 suggestions cheaper than therapy that will help you stay sane during finals week!
Yoga is a GREAT way to relieve stress. The practice has both physical and psychological benefits. Yoga increases your body’s awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, and increases concentration. Also, just taking a break to sweat will make you feel less stir crazy while you’re practically living in the library. The average yoga class costs anywhere from 10-25 dollars and student discounts are frequently offered.
2. A trampoline park
Is there one person in your group project that you simply can’t stand? Well, hit them with a squishy dodgeball! Go to an indoor trampoline park with a study group and get out all of your nervous energy and stress. Exercise is always a good stress reliever and throwing dodgeballs never hurt anyone (except maybe that kid in your group that never turns in their work on time).
If your hands look pretty, you’ll feel better! When studying or reading, you’re always using your hands so having chipped or unclipped nails may make you feel self-conscious. Also, anytime my nails look good, I just feel more professional and confident. A simple polish change is frequently less than ten dollars and throwing on a confident color can definitely get you through a long hand-written exam
4. A call home
Most of us have unlimited texting or calling, so a call home is easy and affordable. I know for me personally, just saying all my worries out loud helps me organize my thoughts and feel more in control. Also, my mom typically always knows just what to say. If you have any siblings who have already graduated from college, give them a call to because it wasn’t too long ago that they were cramming for finals.
5. Dogs of any kind!
Whether you know someone with a dog or there is a local animal shelter near you, who can resist puppy eyes?! They have therapy dogs for a reason! Just petting an adorable dog or running around with him/her will definitely lift your spirits and feel less stressed. If one dog doesn’t do the trick, then don’t stop there! Pet every dog at the shelter until you feel more relaxed and at ease.
6. A “Treat yo self-break”
What is your guilty pleasure treat? Maybe it’s a five-dollar coffee from Starbucks or a Cold Stone’s sundae with extra toppings. Whatever this indulgent treat is, get it at least once during final’s week. You deserve a special indulgence! I guarantee this will make you feel better and your wallet will forgive you.
7. Go for a drive
When you feel like you’ve lost all control over your work load, a nice drive can be quite therapeutic. Don’t plug any destination into your GPS just get in the car and go. Turn on your favorite station and regain the sense of control you feel like you lost. Don’t forget to drive responsible!
8. Brain food
The day before your exams, go to the grocery store and load up on your favorite brain food snacks. Grab healthy options like fruit and veggies then maybe one dessert. If you put good food in your body, you will feel better and be more focused. Also, NEVER skip breakfast! It doesn’t matter how early your exam is, do not skip the most important meal of the day.
9. A massage
This is only if you are really feeling stressed! Massages can range in price from around 50 dollars to 200 dollars. If you find a cheap and clean spa near you, a massage can be your big splurge. The average massage is generally still cheaper than an hour of therapy!
10. A congratulatory dinner with your friends after finals are done
My dad always said “work hard, play hard!” After your worked your butt off studying for finals, you and your friends should celebrate. Go to your favorite restaurant and just relax. You don’t have to constantly worry about what to study next and can just enjoy good company.