De-stress during finals week

By Jeff Mitchell

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In the sleepless, perhaps Adderall-fueled nights of finals week, it is easy to burn out, completely lose steam or even feel you’re going to have a heart attack. Not only is this mentally and physically damaging, the stress can decrease work productivity and ultimately hurt your grade. With a few tips, you can stay healthy and on top of your GPA at the same time.

Schedule

This tip is the most important one to stick by. This is not to say that you should plan to spend 20 hours a day working and four asleep. Instead, ensure you create ample time for all tasks. Doing so will eliminate the chaos of deciding what to do. Also, schedule free blocks in case any unplanned assignments arise, which is a common occurrence at the end of each semester as many students seek extra credit or have to make up old assignments.

Make a list

This will not only help you organize your ideas, but it will also allow you to feel more productive as you make a slash through whatever goals you accomplish. It can be on an agenda or even a sticky note on your desktop – as long as you place it somewhere you’ll see often to remind you frequently of tasks to be completed. This blueprint also allows you to separate lists into separate days so you can figure out how to best spend your time.

Chill out

Devote 45 minutes a day to relaxation. This time should not be for eating, sleeping or casual reading. It should just be doing no work of any kind. It can be anything from lying in the grass or watching a show. Avoid Facebook because all you will see are status updates of how stressed people are and all that cyber noise will in turn make you feel guilty for not studying. These breaks are necessary to being productive throughout the day and making sure that you do not burn out at all.

Sleep

While the “all-nighter” is always tempting, sleepy studiers almost always end up paying for it the next morning, which prevents them from getting much done later that day. While staying up until dawn might feel perfectly normal for some, these people may be affected in ways they do not even realize. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. It’s just as important as eating. Without sleep retaining information is going to be a far greater challenge, and try doing well on your art history exam without remembering anything. If you’re down to the wire, even six hours of beauty rest is better than going without any at all.

Breathe

The key to this tip is as soon as you wake up, before you do anything else, take three-to-five deep breaths to inhale positive thoughts and exhale negative thoughts. You may catch some weird looks from your roommate, but it can help to calm you before a busy day of work. This will create a great stress free foundation to move forward and deal with whatever you have to handle.

Following these quick suggestions and they will keep you rejuvenated throughout the next two weeks so you can ace those finals without passing out. Not all are necessary, as even two or three are manageable and will lead to some good results. Now, put down the Collegian and pick up that chemistry book.

Jeff Mitchell can be reached at [email protected]