7 Ways to Reduce Stress During College Finals
As the semester draws to a close, students around campus are beginning to feel the pressure; projects and papers will be due soon, which means final exams are just around the corner. Late-night study sessions and sleep-deprived days are awaiting many, especially those who have procrastinated most of the semester and now need a stellar exam grade to keep their grade point averages intact. Even students who have scored well throughout the semester may find that they are overwhelmed with work and are starting to feel the stress of finals bearing down on them. Unfortunately, the more stressed students feel, the more apt they are to cut corners and skip meals, which only leads to more stress. To help combat the pressures of finals week and stay sane for the remainder of the semester, students should consider trying several of these stress-reducing activities.
1. Get Some Exercise
A great way for students to clear their minds is to take a quick run or enjoy a nice long walk. Even a short Zumba session can do wonders for an over-stressed body and mind. Students should try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise daily during finals, as exercise has been shown to increase levels of concentration and overall mental well-being.
2. Schedule a Massage
Massage provides many benefits, including the ability to help with depression and reduce anxiety. Some students have difficulty with both of these during stressful situations, including the weeks leading up to final exams. Massage can also help students relieve migraines, tense muscles and lower back pain, all of which are often associated with long nights of studying.
3. Share Some Cuddle Time
Animals are great at relieving stress; students can get in some free cuddle time by volunteering or visiting their local animal shelter. The animals will benefit from the attention and the students will find their anxiety levels dropping with each warm hug and wet kiss. Whether students are dog lovers or feline-friendly, they are sure to find a new friend who is more than happy to take their minds off school and just have some fun.
4. Laugh out Loud
Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. Students can find relief by renting a funny movie, attending a comedy show or just sharing some laughs with friends. Just a few minutes of laughter may give students that extra boost they need to get through the rest of their to-do list for the day.
5. Just Breathe
Students may find that the best way to fight fatigue and stress is simply to do nothing at all. By spending a few moments each day meditating, students can increase their serotonin production, which has shown to help with depression, insomnia and headaches. Meditation also enhances the immune system, which may help students stay healthy during their final exams.
6. Get Some Rest
One of the best ways for students to fight the stress and fatigue associated with final exams is to make sure they get plenty of rest. Pulling an all-nighter is not recommended, as the human brain can only absorb so much at one time. Students need to give their bodies and minds time to reboot and re-energize; taking a 15-minute power nap can also help students focus during class or during an exam.
7. Enjoy a Treat
All that hard work deserves a reward. Students may find that taking a short break to go get their favorite iced coffee or sweet treat is just what they need. Another great way for students to take the edge off is to submerge their worries in a nice, warm bath. Whether it’s something to tingle the taste buds or something to warm the senses, students should make a point of treating themselves at various times over the next few weeks.
Final exams can definitely make students feel overwhelmed, agitated and anxious. To avoid going crazy during the last few weeks of the semester, students need to strike a balance between work and play. By scheduling breaks often, keeping study sessions to no more than one or two hours each, and staying connected to others, students will find it much easier to survive finals and end the year on a positive note.