Finals are just around the corner, or have just begun for many people. Finals can be a difficult time when somehow you have no time, and no sleep, and very little food, and it sucks. It's stressful because there's all this studying and it's getting to be summer time and all anyone really wants to do is sleep and sunbathe, but fear not! Here are some things that you can do to make sure that finals stress has the most minimal impact and causes the least amount of damage.
Ah, sleep. The one thing we all seem to tend to avoid during this stressful time- or maybe just can't get much of because of said stress. There seems to be this trend where people try to one up each other on how little sleep they got at night and I'd like to take a moment to talk about why that's the absolute worst thing to do. Sleeping less doesn't necessarily mean you did more. What it does mean though, is that you've taken away from yourself time that should have been used to rejuvenate your body and give it the rest required to function. Sleep is incredibly crucial for not just feeling rested, but for your basic functions of day to day life. Sleep deprivation can cause you to have a loss of memory, decreased balance and coordination, impairs your ability to pay attention to your surroundings and make critical decisions, reasoning, and problem solving skills.
Tips on how to get the best sleep possible:
1. Create a routine. Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times every night, and plan your day for that!
2. Stay away from screens. If you have to do your homework to the point where you collapse onto bed right after, plan so any work that doesn't require a screen can be done last. The light from computer and phone screens acts as a stimulant, and will make falling asleep more difficult.
3. Beds are for sleep, not work. Establish this difference as soon as you can, and enforce it. Save your bed just for sleep, and soon enough your body will begin to associate the feeling of being in pajamas, in bed, with sleep, and will automatically begin the process of falling asleep.
These two go hand in hand. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done, and still feel like you're okay during finals. It's a lot, and it's never certain if you're really done until everything is done. That's why organizing your time and your work is so important. You want to make sure that you have time to get all the things done that you have to do, and you know, function and sleep (see above) and stuff. Managing your work and how you go about doing it is important to in not only making sure your time is spent as well as it can possibly be, but also to make sure that you can give your 110% at whatever it is your doing. Yeah, it's finals, and yeah, everything's stressful, but that's no excuse for doing things halfway!
Tips on managing your time and organizing your work:
1. To Do Lists. Make lists/keep a planner/do something so you can make note of everything you have to get done that day. It's really simple, but it can make a world of a difference to just see what it is that needs to be done.
2. Break up tasks. Have a project to do? Paper to write? Break up your tasks into smaller tasks so it's more manageable. One step at a time, it'll get done, and done to the best of your abilities.
3. Plan a Schedule. This is probably the most important thing. Plan out your week/day on a calendar (digital ones are probably the best because they'll sync with your phone) so you can keep track of when exactly you work, have class, events and other obligations, and what time is free for you to set aside and mark as strictly study time.
4. Pomodoro. The Pomodoro method is an ingenious method that can be used to make study time more manageable. It consists of 25 minute study sessions with five minute intervals in between. This way, whatever work that needs to be done will be done, and you get to reward yourself with some time to relax and recharge before attacking your next task. Some things to do during a study break.
Finals are stressful; that's been well established. And taking care of your body is important, but just as important as that is taking care of your mentality. It's easy to get swept up in how much there is happening and how stressful it is and to just always be on edge because of it. Giving yourself time off- whether it be the five minute study breaks or an entire day- is important in keeping yourself from losing all sanity. Treat yourself! You deserve it, and special things don't have to happen on special days or after special events. Anything can be special if you make it. Go out for food. Eat something you love. Do something you love. Go for a walk. Spend time with friends- whatever it is that's a treat for you. You deserve it.