Tis’ the season to take finals!
Around this time of the year many people are thinking about the holidays but for myself, and fellow students everywhere, we are more concerned with studying for finals. This time of the semester is mentally and physically exhausting to say the least. If you are a full time or even a part time student all the hours you have to study in preparation for finals can feel like trying to juggle broken glass when considering all the other responsibilities of life.
It is stressful.
I have had an exam week in the past where I stayed up for 4 days running on 3 hour naps that I took maybe twice a day whenever I could get them in. I do not remember exactly since the days ran together. It sucked not just because of a lack of sleep, but because I felt stressed out and crammed for time looking to get the best scores I could with little time. By the time I finished my last exam I felt so gassed that when I settled in to take a nap it felt like I was drunk. That is just one personal account out of thousands of students.
If you’re reading this article still you can probably relate. Final exams week is stressful and that is not likely to change but there are a few things I learned to be helpful with coping with this hectic time. They can help you too!
This goes first on the list because this is one of the most salient problems with finals. I have been learning a great amount recently about how important sleep is for your health and how it is linked to a long list of outcomes if you don’t sleep enough. Not getting enough sleep leads to you stressing out more. The current recommended time a healthy adult should sleep is 7-8 hours per night.
Anything less than this time has been found to negatively impact cognitive ability, memory, and more! Your brain just does not work as well as it should with a lack of sleep whether you think it does or not, unless you’re one of these special people. If you are tired this makes it harder to regulate your emotions so you cannot handle stressful things as well as you normally could.
Eat and Drink Right
This seems like a no brainer but it always seems hard to eat and drink healthy when you’re pushed for time. Always plan and prep your meals out properly and have a stockpile of food before finals so you can have what you need for an easy meal prep like this. I sadly spent nearly 100 dollars on eating out during exams one semester and the meals certainly were not good for me. Yet another reason to add to the stress. Also, drink water more often than caffeine and avoid any other stimulants as much as possible. Stimulants may be awesome for studying and staying alert when you are tired but they just add to stress and anxiety as a side effect. Crashing from a stimulant induced binge can also put you down for hours. Headaches suck.
If you are anything like me than the stress of approaching exams makes you feel like you have so much to do but not a minute to waste. It is always go, go, go, or you will flunk that physiology exam. Take an hour or two every day to relax! I’m not talking about finding yourself an hour deep in your Facebook feed or watching a second episode of Game of Thrones. That’s procrastination. I mean do something you like to do that will get your mind away from your responsibilities so you can feel relaxed. I personally like to cook a nice meal or go to the gym. Stress can consume the mind sometimes. Mindfulness is a helpful and effective practice to do in order to alleviate stress. Doing this form of meditation has helped me a lot in the past. It is something you can do anywhere you are whether it be the library or your room. Check this article out to learn more.
If you are stressin’ try to focus on these 3 topics and finals will be over in no time. Stay Positive.