Is it just me, or is ‘Finals Week’ a great opportunity to stress out? You KNOW you dread its arrival, and you can’t wait for its departure! Final exams (or any other particularly stressful time in your life) can be so disruptive. Stress can give you headaches, tummy aches, heart burn, and insomnia. Stress can cause weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, and acne. Stress makes it hard to concentrate and it can make you say and do things you wish you hadn’t. It can make you feel lonely, overwhelmed, irritable, and unhappy. Let’s face it… Stress stinks! So, whether its exam week or work deadlines, relationship issues or financial concerns… Whatever it is that causes you to worry, we all need to find ways to ‘beat the stress’!Eating healthy, keeping active, and staying happy at college can be HARD work! Between all the quizzes, ten page papers, required readings, social outings, early morning classes, cafeterias full of less-than-healthy eats, late nights out for half-price-apps, and a lack of routine, leading that ‘balanced life’ can be quite a challenge! Then throw in finals week and my-oh-my… suddenly the stress of it all can be overwhelming! So here’s how I balance it all:
My Top 6 Tips for Thriving (Not Just Surviving) During Finals Week!
1. Start Studying NOW– Waiting until the last minute to study is sure to cause stress. Rather than cramming it all in those last few days, start studying a couple weeks before finals. This way you actually understand (and own) the information! Rewrite your notes, ask a friend to quiz you, practice writing out short answers, and get comfortable with the material you’re learning.
2. Take a Tech Break– When it is time to study, break away from all the distractions! Whether it’s Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever, turn it off! Make sure you PUT DOWN THE DEVICE and spend time studying–sans distraction! It is hard enough to commit the time to studying, so when you decide to actually DO IT, don’t waste time with any ‘competition.’
3. Be Active– Get outside and go for a walk! Spring is finally here, so enjoy the warm weather! Nothing clears my head like a good walk! Let this be your break and then GET BACK TO WORK! Studying is important, but so is time with friends, fresh air and nature. Don’t let studying overtake your life. Research shows that just 20 minutes of cardio can improve your memory!
4. Get enough Sleep– Sure, last minute cram sessions are tempting, but if you pull an ‘all-nighter’ you actually impair your reasoning and memory for several days. Your body will be exhausted, and come test time you’ll be too tired to remember all that extra studying you did! Getting enough sleep helps your body deal with all kinds of stress.
5. Eat Your Breakfast– It’s true what mom says, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” Start your day off right with an energizing meal that keeps you full and focused during your exam… after all, nothing is more distracting to you (AND those around you) than a grumbly tummy during test time! A nice serving of high-protein eggs should hit the spot. Enjoy a little toast for your carb and a fresh piece of fruit for fiber and extra vitamins.
6. RELAX– Remember– they are only tests. You’ve lived through other exams and you’ll certainly survive these. You are probably pretty prepared by now, so look at exam week as an opportunity to ‘show off’ all you’ve learned! Take some deep breaths and calm yourself down before you begin. Pray that you remember everything you studied. Close your eyes when trying to come up with an answer and then take another deep breath. Don’t worry… YOU’VE GOT THIS!