It's officially midterm season. You all know what that means, right? Cue the all-nighters and obscene amounts of caffeine that will surely be ingested during perhaps one of the most stressful points of the semester.
No matter how many assignments and papers you get through, no matter how much progress you think you make in a day, it just feels as if it's not enough, with more and more deadlines lurking around every corner.
Even though this isn't my first time dealing with midterms, I still manage to fall victim to that feeling of panic that always tends to arise around this point in the semester. Luckily, my four years of college have prepared me well and allowed me to develop what I feel are five fantastic self-care tips that have yet to fail me.
1. Take a deep breath.
Seriously. I know this is basically self-care 101, but I cannot stress enough how important it is just to take a moment to take a breath and realize that this stress is temporary. While it may feel neverending, with the slew of exams and assignments only serving to solidify that feeling, these seemingly unending weeks will pass.
2. Listen to yourself, and take breaks when needed.
It may feel like there isn't enough time in a day to take a break from your usual daily grind. From classes to assignments to any other activities that may occupy your schedule, it's too easy to disregard your body's pleas to stop for even a minute. Listen to yourself. If there's anything I've learned throughout college, it's that I actually work better with more frequent breaks — those allowed moments that I allocate specifically for my mind to wander off. Do what works for you.
3. Go for a walk.
Even if it's just around the block, I promise that incorporating daily walks will make your days so much better. All of my classes are online, so at the beginning of the semester, I too often found myself sitting and staring at my laptop for nearly eight hours every day. My joints felt stiff, my mind trapped, and I'll admit that I was absolutely miserable. Now I try and walk a few miles every day, and I can genuinely see the difference in my overall mood and my attention-span when working. Go and soak up the sun and enjoy all that the outside has to offer.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
I know that getting a full eight hours of sleep every night isn't exactly reasonable for most college students. I'm lucky if I manage to get six most nights if I'm completely honest. That being said, on those nights where you can choose between scrolling through TikTok and watching Netflix or turning in early for the evening, I'd recommend choosing the latter. Catching up on sleep can truly make a world of difference in your energy levels and attention-span the next day.
5. Reward yourself for a job well-done.
Whether it's treating yourself to your favorite trip at Starbucks or indulging in some online shopping, give yourself something to look forward to once these stressful weeks are finally over. Plan a day out with friends, set aside time to binge-watch your favorite shows — be kind to yourself and acknowledge how much you've done. Midterms are hard. But you've worked harder.