How to Manage Stress During Finals Week

Finishing a term can be very exciting, as it means you are one step closer to your goal of getting a degree! However, the days leading up to end-of-term finals can also be stressful.

It can be easy to put your studies first, before your personal needs and mental health, but it is important to ensure you aren’t neglecting these areas. A calm mind can help you feel energized and more confident for your upcoming tests and presentations. Let’s dive into some tips to help squash that end-of-term stress:

Practice mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve mood and lower anxiety levels. It may seem intimidating, but mindfulness meditation can be applied to many different aspects of your daily life. Try deep breathing every 30 minutes while you are studying, or listen to soothing music while you are making dinner or folding laundry. Check out these popular mindfulness meditation videos for when you start feeling overwhelmed.

Take care of your body
We don’t mean to sound like your mother, but don’t forget to take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising. The last thing you want to do is get sick the week of finals. Keep your immune system healthy by eating fruits and veggies, and drinking plenty of water. Another healthy way to reduce stress is through exercise. Go for a run, do a dance or yoga video, or take a nature walk to boost your mood and help you take a well-deserved study break.

Get plenty of sleep
It’s important to ensure you are getting enough sleep during finals week, so you can feel physically better when it comes time to write essays and take exams. If you are feeling your best, you are more likely to perform your best! Not only does sleep help you feel more prepared, but your brain does a lot of its learning when it is asleep. Check out this article about sleep and memory to learn more! Try to get 8 hours of sleep after a study session to make sure your brain has time to soak up all that knowledge.

Have fun and spend time with friends
Spending time with friends, playing games or doing your favorite craft or sport can also be a great break from studying. It’s important to remember – you deserve a break! However, don’t let fun get in the way of your sleep or studying – make sure to set healthy boundaries in both your friend and study groups. In addition, don’t be a stress bragger. Here are phrases to avoid:

  • “You think you are stressed, I am a senior!”
  • “You have time to go to that party? I don’t have time to have fun!”
  • “Sleep deprivation is temporary, but GPA is forever!”

Manage your time
Time management can be an extremely simple way to avoid stress. By studying all semester long, you avoid cramming for exams at the end. It may seem easier said than done, but do yourself a favor earlier in the term by keeping your notes and flashcards organized. This will make studying easier when crunch time comes. Study groups are another great practice to adopt early on in a semester or utilizing on-campus tutoring.

We hope these tips and tricks help in some small way to reduce your test stress! It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by your GPA and good grades, but remember, you got this! For more mental health blogs, please keep up with the RMCAD blog. In addition, please reach out to student counseling for additional mental health support.