For most of us college students, there's one thing and one thing only on our minds at this time of year: FINALS. Other normal priorities, like sleep, health and hygiene tend to fall to the wayside in favor of more hours studying in the library.
"I haven't had time to shower or eat anything besides coffee for the past 3 days," we proudly proclaim from behind a stack of notes. However, neglecting your personal health could actually have negative effects on your academic performance. Here are some super quick and easy ways to take care of your body during finals.
1. DIY Face Mask
Say good-bye to stress pimples and dark under-eye circles! Poor diet and lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your skin. DIY face mask's are easy to make and you can wear one while you get ready for bed, or while lay out your supplies for the next day. Try these for acne, these for dark eye circles, and these to reduce puffiness.
2. Drink lots of water.
Water is the body's miracle cure. Among other benefits, water can boost energy, increase brain function, and get rid of headaches. Drinking a full glass of cold water when your alarm goes off in the morning can also help your body wake up faster. For a fun, flavorful twist, try a fruit infuser water bottle.
3. Make a smoothie.
Instead of having a granola bar for breakfast or a greasy late-night snack, whip up a quick smoothie! Instead of reaching for your fifth cup of coffee, give your body something nutritious. Bananas can be a source of protein, apples contain caffeine for an extra kick, and oranges help to clear up your skin and protect your immune system.
4. Sleep in 90-minute increments.
On average, a full REM cycle takes about 90 minutes. When you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, it can throw you off for the rest of the day. If you want to wake up feeling energized, rested, and ready to tackle your test, sleep in increments of 90 minutes (i.e. 9 hours, 7.5 hours, 6 hours, or 4.5 hours).
5. Move your study session to the gym.
When you need a change of location, bring your notes to the gym! Physical activity improves your memory and your brainpower. Quiz your friends while walking on the track, or look over your notes from the bike or the treadmill.
6. Take a quick breather.
It's important to give your brain a break. Multiple studies have shown that taking occasional breaks can actually make you more productive. Take a 5 or 10-minute break every hour or two and take some deep breaths, take a lap, or watch funny cat videos.