5 Ways To Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Week
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

5 Ways To Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Week

Maintaining your mental health is just important as maintaining your GPA.

5 Ways To Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Week

May is one of the most stressful months of the year for college students nationwide. It’s a time filled with final papers, final projects, and final exams. I’m currently in the midst of finishing up my sophomore year of college, and I also struggle with mental illness. Finals time is stressful enough on its own, and adding mental illness into the mix can make it much harder to cope. I’ve learned that while doing well in school is important, maintaining my mental health is more important.

Here are five ways that you can prioritize mental health during finals week:

1. Before starting school work, practice a mindfulness exercise.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the plethora of studying and assignments that need to be done during finals week. One way to reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed is by practicing mindfulness prior to starting the work. My preferred way of doing this is by using the Breathe+ app for 2 minutes. I change the settings to make the inhale 4 seconds, the first hold 7 seconds, the exhale 8 seconds, and the second hold 0 seconds. For this particular breathing exercise, the tip of your tongue should remain pressed against the back of your top front teeth, when you inhale it should be through your nose, and when you exhale it should be through your mouth and audible. This type of breathing activates the body’s natural relaxation response, and it allows you to connect your mind and body before starting to work.

2. Take breaks for meals.

When you’re bogged down by deadlines and lack of time, forgetting to leave time for meals often occurs. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, remembering and prioritizing meals is even more important. Schedule time for each meal, even if you can only set aside 20 minutes. Fueling your body will allow you to complete your work much more effectively.

3. Set boundaries for how much time you will spend doing work.

Schedule how much time you will devote to studying/assignments each day. By setting aside a specific amount of time and respecting those boundaries, you allow your mind ample time to relax. I typically do 2 hours of homework or studying per night, and I try to limit myself to 4 hours maximum.

4. Respect your sleep schedule.

We live in a society that is chronically overworked, and this is especially true for students. Try to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, even if it means you have a little less time for schoolwork. Your brain needs time to unwind, and so does your body! I also recommend limiting screen time before bed. I try to stop using my phone 30 minutes before I plan on going to sleep. If you struggle with being able to fall asleep, try a sleep meditation! Here’s one that I learned in therapy that I do every night: Breathe deeply and slowly. On each exhale, count down starting from 9, ending at 0. Repeat this, but starting at 8, then 7, and so on until you fall asleep.

5. Leave time for the things that you love.

During finals week, I usually feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be able to complete assignments, study, and still have time for the things that I enjoy. I’ve learned the importance of “budgeting” my time so that I can have time left to do things I love. Each night before I go to bed, I write out my schedule for the next day in my planner. I make sure to plan out specific time for meals, time for schoolwork, and time for self-care. It’s important to make time for enjoyable activities, whether it be watching Netflix, playing a video game, or anything else, even if it’s only for 20 minutes a day. Your mind will thank you!

These are my tips for prioritizing your mental health during finals week. I hope they help you, and remember that summer vacation is within reach!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!


Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?


If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments