10 Ways To Practice Self-Care During Finals Week

10 Ways To Practice Self-Care During Finals Week

Make Yourself A Priority

Thanksgiving has ended, and the holiday season has begun. But with the wintery cheer comes the wintery fear: final exams. It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of studying and forget about all the other aspects of your life. But if there's one thing you shouldn't neglect during finals week other than work, it's YOU. I know we all care about our grades, but our bodies are more important, and it's important to remind ourselves of that. Make yourself a priority... and that's where self-care comes in. This list is by no means comprehensive,—self-care comes in so many forms, and there's really no wrong way to do it—but included are 10 ways I intend to practice self-care during and leading up to finals week.

1. Get Enough (or Close to Enough) Sleep

I know I know. Cliché. Seemingly-impossible. It's so easy to get wrapped up in studying (or procrastinating) that before you know it it's 5am, and you give up on sleep for the night completely. Instead of using those precious hours between 2am and 8am to cram in more studying that you won't likely remember, or watching yet another episode of that show, spend them snuggled up in bed under your favorite blanket. Those hours of shut-eye will help you more on you exam than any last-minute cramming probably will, and certainly more than Netflix will.
BONUS TIP: Naps are good too! Science says the "perfect nap" is 26 minutes long, and will help increase alertness. If you're continually dozing off while going over your readings, you're better off just lying down for a bit anyway, and then getting back to it.

2. Eat Brain Food...

Nourish your mind along with your body. Whole grains, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, pumpkin seeds, beans, leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, red peppers, blueberries, black currents, sage, olive oil... the list is endless, and certainly not bland or boring! And when oatmeal is as easy as ramen, it isn't too difficult either.

3. ...But also Eat Comfort Food

Studying can feel hellish as it is, but not rewarding yourself after a long session in the library is downright evil. Nourishing your soul is just as important as nourishing your body and mind, and sometimes that comes in the form of pizza, french fries, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, fancy holiday drinks, or whatever dessert the dining hall happens to have on hand. Indulge a little, and don't beat yourself up for it, especially if you're eating a lot of that aforementioned brain food as well. It is the holidays after all!
BONUS TIP: Looking for a compromise between brain food and comfort food? Dark chocolate's got you covered!

4. Drink Lots of Liquids

I'm talking about water and de-caf tea, and other low-sugar, low-calorie, low-caffeine options. I know we all need a few of those kinds of drinks to keep us going too, but staying hydrated with lots of water is so important all the time, and especially when our minds and bodies are on overdrive. Always seem to forget to drink enough water? Keep a refillable water bottle out and with you at all times to remind yourself to stay hydrated!

5. Exercise or Get Some Fresh Air

Give your mind a quick break and get the rest of you moving. Hit up the school gym, or if that's not your thing, just get outside for a quick walk, hike, jog, or bike ride. It will produce endorphins in your body which will make you feel happier, help keep you awake if all those readings are making you drowsy, and give you a productive reason to take a break. Plus, who doesn't feel better after a breath of crisp December air?!

6. Shower!

It's an easy thing to push aside when you're swamped with studying, living in sweatpants, and not seeing much of anyone, but general hygiene is self-care too. You'll feel much better doing pretty much anything if your hair is clean and your body smells good. You can spare 15 minutes to relax in the hot water and not think about anything, I promise. Put on a couple of your favorite songs while you're at it! You'll feel much more refreshed and relaxed afterwards, and much more inclined to get back to work.

7. Get Some Much-Needed Human Interaction

When you're cooped up in your room all day in sweats, up to your neck in textbooks, readings, and notes, it can be hard to even think about hanging out with friends or going out. But even though everyone has so much to do, interaction with fellow human beings is so important! It can be quick and simple activities — ask a friend to get a meal with you in the dining hall, take a quick coffee break with someone, find a buddy to go on a walk with. If all else fails, even just hearing another voice can be helpful — call your mom, dad, grandparent, sibling, best friend, or anyone else whose voice makes you smile, and just chat for a few minutes. It's always relieving to remember you have people who love and support you, no matter what your exam grades are.

8. Take Breaks to do Things You Love

You're super busy during the semester, but you still find time to join groups or clubs, or otherwise do what you love. Don't let finals week be an exception! Whether it's playing an instrument, folding origami, baking, dancing, or whatever else, take some time to do that thing. Personally I like writing and reading for pleasure, and even though I'll be doing plenty of writing and reading during finals week, I know it's important for me to find time to sit down and write about what I want to write about, or curl up with a "Harry Potter" book for a few chapters. Finding time for what you love is always important, no matter how hectic studying gets.

9. Find Time for Yourself

"Me time" can be one of the hardest things to come by in college. At home, you could escape to your room, or even to the bathroom, but in college nothing seems private anymore. There always seems to be other people around. Make it a point to find time where you can be alone and with yourself during finals week, even if you're doing work during this time too. If you can, work out something with your roommate so you each have a little time alone in the room. If that's not possible, find a hiding spot in the library or somewhere else on campus, or escape off campus to a café or a bookstore, or somewhere else you can feel comfortably alone. And if you just can't seem to find the space and privacy you need, do the best you can, and bring along headphones. Sometimes listening to music alone, even if you're in the most crowded place, can make you feel like the only person in the room.

10. Don't Neglect Your Regular Self-Care Regimen

These are all good ideas for self-care, but no one knows you better than you do, which means you probably have a self-care routine tailored exactly to your needs. When you have so much else going on, it can be easy to push it off until later, and then never actually get to it. Schedule time in each of your days, no matter how busy, to take care of yourself. There is only one you, and nothing—not even final exams—is worth compromising your body over.

Now good luck on your exams, and don't forget to keep making yourself a priority!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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10 Quotes That Will Help You Realize Your Self-Worth

Sometimes you need a little pick me up and that's okay because I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone. When I need a pick me up, I tend to look over quotes that help with either giving me an ego boost or reminding me to keep working.


These 10 quotes are from a notes page that I keep on my phone with a list of over 100 quotes. I keep quotes on my phone to give me reminders, advice, or even some motivation. I specifically chose these ten quotes to help anyone remind themselves to never give up and to know your self-worth, which is priceless.

1. "Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

This quote reminds me to only focus on what I think about myself and to continue bettering myself. The part of the quote that states, "never excuse yourself" really illuminates how there is always room for improvement in every aspect of your life. Never allow yourself to fall behind and to continue growing.

2. "I am left with no choice, but to create an empire from these ruins within me."

Anyone I am depressed (or heartbroken...), this quote reminds me you can only come up from rock bottom.

3. "If you're happy in yourself, you radiate happiness and attract happiness."

Any time I'm feeling down, I like to read this quote because it helps me work to getter better. The quote pushes me to get better because everything is much better and warmer when you're happy. Emotions soak in more, laughs are genuine, and happy tears become a reality.

4. "You don't need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be." -Wayne W. Dyer

Dyer's quote forces me to continue improving myself. I know this is similar to the first quote, but it helps even more because it reminds me to never forget where I came from.

5. "Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise L. Hay

When I am feeling down about myself, Hay's quote helps me get out of the funk because I will only continue to spiral if I only focus on the negative.

6. "I am the flower and the thorns. I don't need you to touch me in order to blossom." -Haley Hendrick

Hendrick's quote gives me the confidence to be a strong independent young woman. I do not need a pity party to feel better about myself. I can cope and continue growing because rain is the only way flowers bloom.

7. "Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time."

If you continue to criticize yourself and only focus on your "flaws," you will never be able to be happy. I know it is harsh but if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to ever fully love anyone. Being kind and allowing yourself to grow is the best self-care. Take a break from whatever you're busy with at the time if you need to. Take a breath and focus on the reasons you love yourself and what all you have accomplished.

8. "I wanna make my parents proud, my enemies jealous, and myself satisfies."

This quote points you in the direction of self-growth because it allows you to remember there are never excuses for yourself. Growing up is a part of life, so is adaptation and evolution. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the times.

9. "Your body is not a temple..."

"Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."

Do not ever let anything keep your down, break through the ceiling if you have to. Keep pushing and working for whatever dreams you have.

10. "You don't have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life..."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is s relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignored your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go." — Daniell Koepke

Sometimes, you had to leave behind people you thought would be in your life forever because they're holding you back. Sometimes they just always bring negativity and make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes people make cool jokes and don't understand how it isn't funny. These people are toxic and it is okay to remove them from your life. Keep growing but always remember what could have happened if you stayed behind.

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