I don’t know about you, but here at the University of Pittsburgh, we are in the midst of Finals Week (Also known as F***, I Never Actually Learned S*** Week). With all the papers and exams you have to look forward to (or are currently completing), here is a primer on how to make it through finals week alive!
Get some exercise! Take a break in the midst of your studies by going on a quick jog, doing some yoga or even release the tension with some kickboxing! Often times campuses offer exercise programs during finals as a means for stress relief, so make sure to check some out. If you want fitness ideas you can try yourself, look at Fit Sugar, which has a ton of free workout regimens and tips.
Drink Water This is nature’s all-natural, all-purpose Gatorade! It can keep you hydrated and refreshed – something you need when hitting the books. Also, it’s (obviously) sugar-free, so you don’t have to worry about the health concerns like there are in drinks like soda. Using a cute, reusable water bottle can do wonders in making you want to drink water. I use a Vapur water bottle (in purple, of course). Are you not a big water drinker? Try adding a splash of lemon or lime.
Get outdoors. It is spring, so chances are, the weather is pretty nice! Take a break outside and soak in the sunshine to get the valuable vitamin D boost your body needs. If you want to go the extra mile, why don’t you pack up your books and study outside?
Don’t forget fruits and vegetables! You’re going to need your health more now than ever while you pull those all-night study sessions. Keep your body ready by eating well. You don’t need to have a fancy salad necessarily – keep yourself prepared by having bite sized vegetables and fruits in your fridge so you’re always ready for a healthy snack.
Get yourself a hobby. Are you an avid chess player? Painter? Photographer? Dancer? Video gamer? Runner? Indulge yourself in your hobbies in between study sessions. They can do wonders for stress.
Pump yourself up! Take the time to re-affirm yourself. You’re brilliant and talented – so what’s stopping you from laying waste to these finals? Rather than reminding yourself how much ground you have left to cover and how completely screwed you are, make sure you remember that you have the ability to do great on your exams.
Get Lost in the Music. Listening to your favorite music and dancing can keep you happy. If you want to study harder, turn on instrumentals that allow you to have pleasant background noise without focusing on vocals, like Classical or Jazz.
Put Out…that Cigarette. While I want to feel clever, that saying is actually from a t-shirt I got from the Panther Well program here at Pitt. While you think that cigarette is relieving stress, it’s actually doing the opposite. Studies have found that minutes after smoking stress level rises and creates greater depression. Want to learn more about why you may want to consider quitting? Check here.
Write out your thoughts. I don’t know about you, but for me, writing is a very therapeutic experience. When your thoughts are a messy jumble, sometimes it can help to get them on paper so they make a lot more sense. I have a notebook specifically reserved for my bad days – that way, I can write my dark thoughts and easily close the book on them – that way, once I have gotten them off of my chest, I don’t have to deal with them again if I don’t want to.
Clean Your Room! A long time ago, I heard the idea that the state of your room can often show the state of your mind. After giving it some thought, I realized, in a way, that it was true. You can tell when I am going through times of stress when you look at my room and see piles of clothes in my chair, an unmade bed and shoes all over the floor. Cleaning up your room can make thinking and working that much easier – and you won’t have the stress of looking for things! Plus, you’d be surprised how much cleaning you can do in a short amount of time.
Chill out. Sometimes, you just need a break. Turn off your computer, close your books, dim your lights, and take a few minutes to yourself. Maybe you’d prefer to meditate, maybe music will help you zone out, or maybe you need a nice, long shower with your favorite gel. Whatever it takes, give yourself time to breathe and relax.
I hope this helps! Good luck on finals everybody, and I’ll see you with my Weekend Links on Friday!
ps – What are your strategies for surviving Finals Week? Let me know in the comments.