The dreaded season has started. Finals season. Deadlines are approaching, all of your professors seem to be sneaking in random assignments in the syllabus, and the worst part of it all; it is dark at 5 p.m. I am probably not the only one who feels like they lack holiday cheer because of the craziness. It is definitely easy to forget to take care of yourself at this time. This year, I am trying to focus on my happiness, especially around the holidays. Here are a few ways every college student can take care of themselves this season, because I know I definitely need them.
1. Take breaks between studying.
It seems like you can never catch a break from the constant homework and studying, especially during this season. I get so much anxiety looking at my planner that is full of assignments. I forget that it is okay to take a break. I think a lot of students forget this because we are so focused on that one grade or that one assignment that determines whether we break down in that instant. I am reminding you to take a break. Rest. Eat. Listen to music or watch a funny video. Even if it is just for ten minutes. I promise you it will make a difference in your concentration.
2. Fuel your body.
This is something I definitely struggle with. I find myself on the "library diet", which consists of mostly Starbucks. I drink an unreasonable amount of Starbucks coffee when I study, and it is not healthy at all. I have come to the realization that this lifestyle actually makes me more tired because I am running on zero nutrients. It sounds so self-explanatory but eat your fruits and vegetables. But also, don't be afraid to splurge. If you want to make cookies every night, make cookies every night. I think it is easy for us to be so serious all of the time that we forget to relax.
3. Move every once in a while.
For me, I always feel the worst when I forget to workout for a while and just choose to sit around all day. I get in this sort of dump, which also makes me even more tired. Even if you don't like to do a full-on workout, I suggest that you take a quick walk around campus or your neighborhood. Just a little bit of movement will make you feel better and refreshed to continue studying. Movement helps your brain flow and it releases endorphins that make you happier.
4. Focus on what you want to do.
You are the only one who knows your schedule. You are the only one who knows what you can handle. If all of your friends want to go out but you know you need to stay in and study, then stay in. Don't do anything that will make you feel guilty. I, personally, feel like I have to do everything. I overcommit myself, especially around this time, because I feel like time is running out. However, it is not. You still have time. Take care of yourself or you will feel overwhelmed.
5. Do not forget to enjoy yourself.
Yes, studying is important. But, do not forget to have fun. Enjoy these last few weeks with your friends before you go home. If you are a freshman or if there was your first semester in college, think about the amazing people you have met and the fun times you had. Despite the pandemic, this semester has brought me closer friendships and fun times. You deserve to have fun and relax. Soon, your finals will be over and you will be at home for the holidays. You are so close. You are almost there. You got this. Also do not forget to encourage your friends to remember these as well. Look out for your peers. Stick together. You will enjoy this stressful time a lot more when you have your community.