Image courtesy of Lend a helping hand to one another during the coming finals weeks.
Image courtesy of Lend a helping hand to one another during the coming finals weeks.

5 ways to relieve stress during finals

December 2, 2018

As this week draws to a close, we all know what beast is looming right around the corner: finals. We know it’s coming, yet we do everything we can to avoid thinking about it. If you were trying to forget it as you picked up this paper, fear not! Here are five ways to help air out stress during finals.

  1. Get out of that study space

Whether you’re in your home, the library, a classroom or a grave, it’s always good to get a change of scenery. Moving and getting air can help reenergize your mind when you force yourself to disconnect. If you spend too long looking over a specific topic or question, you can burn yourself out, leading to forgetfulness before that big exam. Make yourself get some fresh air that hasn’t been circulated between dozens of stress-ridden bodies.

  1. “Ohm” my way to the Relaxation Room

Did you know that the Counseling Center here on campus has a relaxation room? According to the Counseling Center’s website, “The purpose of the Relaxation Room is to provide a quiet, peaceful space for students to develop and practice relaxation skills that can enhance their academic productivity and their sense of well-being.”

“Relaxation skills” they say because you may think you have a relaxing routine down pat, but it may not be as top notch as you think. Audio guides will help you learn how to do things like muscle relaxation (which is one of my recommendations for fellow insomniacs) and breathing exercises. When you learn how to pay more attention to your body, you are better prepared to know your signs of stress and how to handle it.

  1. Unplug everything

You heard me. Unplug it. All of it. Your phone, your laptop, your Kindle Fire, your lamp … Okay, maybe not everything, but you get what I mean. Take some time away from your electronic devices and listen in to yourself. Read a book, write a short story, write a poem to give to your mom so she’ll stop trying to call you every five seconds while you’re studying for that awful calculus exam.

According to HuffPost Life, “If we spend too much time staring at a screen, the life that is happening right in front of us … may just pass us by.” It is easy to get sucked into the pure black vortex that is studying during finals week, but it is important to remember to spend some actual time with the people around you. They probably want to lay down on the ground and say they will become a professional failure too, so you may as well do it together.

  1. Eat that brownie

Now, moderation is key, and a healthy diet is everything, but let’s be honest: That huge Oreo brownie at Starbucks is looking really, really good right now. Take the time to listen to what your body wants sometimes and indulge. When you’re typing away on that 20-page paper for four hours, you can often forget to take a break to eat. Stop yourself, grab some food, turn on the TV and become the ultimate loaf for a half hour. The paper will be there when you’ve wiped away the crumbs.

  1. Remember what’s important

I know I’ve been guilty of turning myself into a compressed ball of nerves that once finals are over, I unwind until I’m a knotted ball of yarn who also has a really bad cold. The most stress we get during finals is the stress we put on ourselves. Ultimately, the grades are never worth your damaged health, whether that be mentally, physically or emotionally. If you are absolutely dying for a break, take it! If you have been studying for the past two days and really want to watch that new Netflix show, watch it! From one student to another: you are what matters most. Not your grade.

We can do it, Islanders! Let’s lean on each other as we beat those terms into our unwilling minds. I can smell candy canes and cocoa just on the horizon.


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