It’s finals week! Whether you’re a freshman or graduating, it can be super stressful. So I thought I’d do a post on how to relieve stress. But it doesn’t have to just apply to finals week. Looking for a job, starting a new job, moving, applying for grad school, and a bunch of other milestones can all be stressful, and learning how to deal with that will help you be more successful and happier in the long run.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to relieve stress during high-pressure times.
Don’t make it all work
Yes, you need to get that 15 page paper done AND study for a final in your hardest class. But you also need a break. Last month, Ashlee wrote a post about “playing” in the office. Some of these would be really great study breaks. Make sure to take a break (ideally 10 minutes every hour), and schedule some time to just sit down and unwind, hang out with your friends, or go to the gym. Whatever makes you feel energized and rejuvenated, just take some time and go do it.
Comfort foods are awesome and necessary, but too many for too long will make you feel bloated, tired, and cranky. Not the ideal way to study. So indulge in your ice cream, potato chips, pizza, or whatever. But don’t forget to eat healthy too. Make a quick salad for lunch, have some yogurt for breakfast (Greek yogurt has extra protein, so it keeps you full longer), maybe make some fish for dinner. You want your brain at full power, so make sure to eat lots of food with healthy fats which include nuts, beans, eggs, fish, and avocado.
Get some sleep
Sleeping regularly is especially important during finals week (and whenever else you’re stressed). It also gets more difficult. Stressing makes sleeping harder, which in turn makes you stress more. That is quite the loop. Relax and take a break from studying about an hour before you head to bed for your best bet in sleeping well. Cramming may seem like the best way to get all the information back into your brain, but staying up super late is just going to make you less able to concentrate. Not to mention, your brain processes memories while you’re asleep. You want to be able to remember all that information you just crammed during your test, don’t you? Get your full 8 hours, de-stress before bed, and try to keep a regular schedule.
Back in February, I wrote a post about procrastinating. We all know a large part of studying for finals is procrastinating. Your best way to not stress is to start early, keep yourself on task, and focus. That doesn’t always happen, however. So when you do get around to studying, don’t panic. I’ve done it: when I’ve procrastinated on something much too long, I often shut down and spend hours surfing the internet instead of actually doing my work. That only leads to more stress.
Here it is: the best part. When you get to a point where you’ve accomplished something and you actually know what you’re supposed to know, give yourself a treat. When you walk out of a final, whether you feel on top of the world or drained, treat yourself. Take a bath, get some ice cream, get dressed up and go out to dinner. Celebrate. You’ve accomplished something, and you should feel good about it.
Photo By: lululemon athletica