Finals is a time of high stress and high stakes. Taking care of yourself is essential to success, and can help bring down the stress. Here are five ways to take care of yourself during finals week.
I know you don’t have time with all the things you have to learn, but here’s a reason why you can count sleeping a few hours as studying. During slow wave sleep your brain consolidates your memory, which is vital in remembering what you studied. So do yourself a favor and sleep at least a few hours a night.
2. Have a last call on studying.
This is related to the sleeping thing but set a time that you will stop studying by at night. This allows for you to rest better, and relax during the time before you go to sleep. Additionally, you should limit yourself to studying up until about an hour before the test. Let’s be honest, how much are you really learning in those last five minutes before the test?
3. Set goals with rewards.
Accomplishing a small and reasonable goal (like memorizing all the key terms from a chapter in the book) can increase your confidence and boost your mood. Rewards like fifteen minutes of your favorite show on Netflix or an Insomnia cookie can make studying less of a chore.
You should also plan something fun for yourself during finals week. There are tons of events on campus put on by the Student Union that you can use as a break from the monotony of reading and re-reading your notes. Yoga Under the Stars, Movie Knight and Mindfulness Mondays are great ways to break up your studying.
4. Commiserate with your friends.
Having social support during a stressful time is crucial to overcoming life’s most difficult events, and finals is no exception! Start a group chat with friends or classmates for memes and complaining. Being able to lean on your friends or classmates when you’re struggling through the meaningless void of college algebra can make a huge difference.
During finals week you are sometimes so focused on being a student that you forget you’re also a human. Eating, sleeping, and going outside tend to get put on the backburner (pun intended) when they are essential to your success. Coffee is not one of the main food groups, so make an effort to eat something substantial during finals.
Most people tell you to eat healthy during finals, but if we’re being honest here eating at all during finals week is an accomplishment. So, eat and try to get some fruits and vegetables in there if you can.
6. Have some self-compassion.
Finals are hard. They’re stressful and not doing well can have negative consequences: it’s completely okay to be wound a little tighter than usual. Sometimes chemistry tests make you cry on the shuttle, and I promise everyone understands. So, don’t beat yourself up for the tidal wave of emotions you’re having. You’re doing the best with what you’ve got.