It’s that time of year again.
Not Christmas. Not back-to-school. Not Fall, or Thanksgiving, or even Fourth of July.
It’s finals week.
(Let the chorus of college screaming begin.) Students everywhere are cramming, panicking, studying, and doing last-minute assignments.
Sleep schedules everywhere are turned upside down. Water becomes Starbucks, and normal food becomes Pop-Tarts and mini donuts. (Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but you catch my drift.)
It’s a stressful time of the year for everyone. You’re either a) trying to make sure you scrape by with a C or b) shooting for an A or at least a B. Some finals are cumulative, others are not. Either way, you’re doing a ton of studying. 15 credit hours’ worth. But, when we become too stressed our productivity level plummets. So what are some ways to de-stress before finals?
Take a break! As I’m writing this, I’m taking a break from paper-writing. I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for an hour and a half and my brain just can’t do it anymore. Taking a break actually helps you to recharge and refocus your energy on the task at hand. I know we all want to get it done, but sometimes we have to put ourselves first before the assignment.
Take a long, hot bath! Few things in life compare to a hot bath after a long day. It gives you a chance to relax. Plus, with the bath bomb craze who could miss the chance to have a hot bath in colorful, pleasantly-scented water?? Certainly not me. My all-time favorite are the Musee bath bombs. My favorite scent is Don’t Worry, Be Happy, but they have a ton of yummy scents to choose from! I pick these up in my local boutique, but you can also order online! They’re only $6, so it won’t break the bank and trust me, they’re totally worth it. Each bath bomb has a surprise at the core! Another one I’ve recently tried was an impulse buy at Ulta. These Ulta bath fizzies are super cheap, but I wish I would’ve used two at the same time as the scent isn’t strong at all and disappeared quickly. For the price of $2.50, and that I got one free after buying two, I wasn’t terribly disappointed. I definitely prefer Musees, but if you’re in a pinch and are close to Ulta, these will do! (I haven’t ventured into the Lush bath bomb world. Let me know recommendations in the comments!)
Go on a walk. Whether you go on a walk with friends or by yourself with some headphones and a Spotify playlist, the fresh air will do you good! You’ll be able to stretch your legs and expend some energy. According to my doctor, if you take under 10,000 steps a day, you’re a sedentary individual. Oops.. so get your step count up, compete more with others via FitBit, or track them on your iPhone. I tend to eat more junk food around finals time, so it’s also a good way to burn off some of those unwanted calories. If you’re into it, go work out!
Attend campus activities. My school has a myriad of events planned for just finals week. The library and tutoring center are opened for extended hours, but along with that, there are some perks! Our campus activities board hosts a Chicken and Waffles event in the Dining Hall each finals week. It’s a good way to catch a break, socialize, and grab food at the same time. CAB also brings therapy dogs into the meadows to help students de-stress. There’s also a midnight scream event– students gather in the library at 11:59 and let out a collective scream at 12 AM to release all that pent-up stress. There’s ice cream afterwards! Find out what activities your college has planned, and participate! It makes finals week a lot more bearable.
Do something you love. I absolutely love animals. Growing up on a farm, it’s almost a requirement. When I go home on weekends, especially the weekend before finals, I like to take a trip around the farm and see all of the cows, visit and hold our piglets, and play with my cat and dogs. Obviously that’s not an option for everyone, but my friends and I also like to visit the pet store in town and see the puppies, kittens, hamsters, bunnies, and guinea pigs. Our local store even lets us hold the bunnies and guinea pigs! What better way to de-stress than doing something you love? Whether it’s crafting, working out, playing music, dancing, singing, reading, writing, or hanging with animals, find something you like and dedicate your time to it in the midst of all the finals craziness.
Visit a favorite place. For me, it’s the farm. It could be a state park, a mall, the beach, a place downtown, the woods, or even a room in your house. Go to your favorite place and just relax. Listen to music, read a book, even study. It helps a ton if you’re in an environment you’re comfortable in.
May the odds be ever in your favor this finals week! I’ll be praying for each and every one of you. I know I’ll be studying my butt off, and you probably will be too! Until next time,