It’s basically a fact that finals week is terrible for everyone. Even I, with only one final (and a take-home at that!), am stressed with last-minute story edits, hours upon hours of shifts at work and thoughts of moving home for a month. But the end of the semester doesn’t have to mean all-nighters and misery if you play your cards right. Here are some of my favorite ways to destress when it all starts feeling like too much.
1. Take breaks. This can get dangerous: You open Tumblr, blink, and suddenly, two hours have gone by. Been there, done that. But when you’ve written 10 pages of a paper and can’t see straight anymore, do yourself a favor and do something mindless like checking Facebook to clear your head.
2. Treat yourself. My personal favorite is watching an episode of my favorite show when I finish an assignment. Not only does it make me happy, it gives me 45 minutes to chill before getting back to work. Splurge on that smoothie, have a piece of chocolate, be good to yourself in general – you’re working really hard!
3. Go to the gym. Studying isn’t exactly an activity that gets one’s heart rate up and sitting at the same table for hours on end is just not fun. Going for a quick run or doing a quick workout in your room are great way to get those endorphins pumping and rejuvenate you for round two (or three...or four...) of studying.
4. Don’t forget to sleep. I never understood why some people become nocturnal during finals week. Doesn’t it make sense to do all that nighttime studying during the day and then sleep at night? Lack of sleep on top of all that stress is a recipe for disaster: Sleeping gives your brain a chance to recharge and download all that info you’ve been cramming.
This time of year may be stressful but just remind yourself that no matter what happens, these tests and papers are not the end-all, be-all. Life will go on - I promise! [...]