It seems like just yesterday syllabus season was upon us. We were all breezing through life, stress-free, not worrying about the sun setting until 8 pm. Sadly, times have changed, the sun has disappeared by 6 pm and it's finally time to start preparing for the infamous #finalszn.
Not to fear though, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best (and my favorite!) ways to manage your stress as finals approach in just four short weeks.
1. Hit the gym!
I'm sorry to start with something so ~bleh~, but even if it's just a swift walk on the treadmill, working out is vital to help reduce and manage your stress! Exercise helps boost those "feel good" endorphins and tire you out, which then helps you sleep better! (Also an important part of managing stress FYI, so it's a win-win situation)
2. Organize. Plan. Organize. Plan
We've all been there before; you're sitting in class, listening to your professor list all of the upcoming papers, assignments and due dates. The more they talk, the more you start to think to yourself, "There is absolutely no way I can all of this." But you can! The best way is to start with a planner if you don't have one already. Life is hectic and college students usually have a lot more going on then just school work, so writing down times, due dates and upcoming assignments you have helps keep you organized and on-track. Invest in a super cute planner to make listing out your responsibilities that much more fun!
3. Dance Parties
Okay, while I can't scientifically prove that this actually helps manage stress at this exact moment, I can personally attest to this claim. There is nothing better than throwing on your favorite throwback jams and bouncing around as ungracefully as you please, no worries in the world. All you need is a solid ten minutes of some random dancing and I can guarantee you will be ready to take on the world, and studying, again. (I'm pretty sure this counts as a workout too? Right?)
4. Tea! Facemasks! Journaling!
These are all different, but come together beautifully when you can fit all three into one night. It's important to relax your body and mind after a long day of schooling and studying. If you're not much of a tea person, sip on another favorite relaxation drink! Apply your favorite face mask and pull out that journal. Keeping a daily or weekly journal is a great way to manage any stress or anxiety. You can safely write down any random thoughts or worries that might be cluttering your mind, completely free of judgment. It's an easy way to de-stress as well as keep track of what's been going on in your life!
5. Time Management
I used to roll my eyes every time my mom would mention time management to me and try to stress its importance. With that being said, I would like to apologize to my mother for all of that eye-rolling because time management is 100% necessary for college. I still haven't figured it all out yet, but final season is a great time to try! Get a head start on any homework or assignments when you have free time, even if it’s just thirty minutes. Slowly chipping away at assignments is a lot easier and less stressful than cramming it all in at 2 am. Not to mention, you’ll comprehend the information a lot better.
6. Take time to just be
College is loud, busy and packed with people. That in itself is stressful, so take time to just let your mind and body be. No phones, no people around you, no noise. This may seem impossible and a waste of time, but even if it’s just for five minutes, relaxing your mind and body goes a long way. You can do this outside in the sun or in the peace and comfort of your bed. Wherever it may be, make time for it.
7. Take advantage of the support around you
Final season is the ultimate struggle, so it’s okay to admit that you are struggling. Instead of completely neglecting all responsibilities and letting the work continue to pile up (tempting, I know), reach out to those around you. Attend tutoring sessions, call your mom, ask a friend to study with you. Those who care about you want nothing more than for you to succeed, let them help!
8. Reward yourself
Whether it’s a Starburst every time you read a paragraph in your textbook or Chinese take-out for finishing an essay…reward yourself! Celebrate the small things like finishing a passage or a paragraph in your essay because it will encourage you to continue working hard.
9. Set goals and accomplish them!
Throughout our lives, we have always been lectured on how important goal setting is, big or small. During finals season, work on setting small goals for yourself that you know you can accomplish. For example, instead of overwhelming yourself with the goal of "I must get an A on this test", try to break it down. Make it a goal to study for at least thirty minutes every night on that subject. If you accomplish that small goal each night, you will be able to accomplish your bigger one!
Yes, sleep. Especially the night before a final, sleep is SO important. You cannot expect your brain to perform the way it should when you spent the previous night up until 3 am, cramming and eating Hot Cheetos. It’s tempting to want to cram overnight, but that isn’t how your brain functions and if you’ve managed your time accordingly up until then, you won’t need to. Shut the electronics off, put on that sleeping mask and get those magical 8-9 hours of sleep. Then after that final is done, reward yourself with more sleep. You deserve it.