I can’t believe that a little under 4 months ago I was moving into the dorms to start my first semester of college. It has gone by so incredibly fast! I am still stunned at the amount of new knowledge I now have in my brain from the past 16 weeks. A week from today, everyone will be on break, not having to worry about papers, tests, projects, and school stress. I know that I am ecstatic about break since I am leaving for Japan in less than a week!
Yesterday at 8PM was the beginning of 24 hour quiet hours in my dorm. Everyone is up-tight due to the upcoming finals week that begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Luckily my finals are the first three days of finals week so I get it done fast and get out fast. Walking through campus I see worried faces of people running their to do list of everything they need to catch up on before their final – I know that I am doing that. Trying to de-stress myself through eating, talking with friends, and watching TV, I was trying to think of more healthier ways in which I could de-stress which won’t make me gain the Freshman 15 in the next couple days. Here is a list of de-stresser activities and tips for the upcoming finals that I will definitely be using:
This is the easiest one you could do and you can do it anywhere you want! I know that for me coloring calms me down and puts me as ease. Plus, if you color, you can have some art that you can put in your room to remind yourself how good you are at least at coloring even if you fail your final. Here are some printable coloring pages to de-stress:
(Here is a bit of an easier one than the other two!)
Go for a walk
It can be unhealthy for your body to be caccooned in the same room all day just studying. That problem makes your performance on the actual test worst because you aren’t letting your brain relax a bit. Take a walk outside, even for 10 minutes. Be in the sun (or the snow) and breathe in fresh air reminding yourself that life will still go on and that it’s just a couple tests. You can take a walk with a friend or by yourself – maybe listen to some of your favorite songs or some songs from this list of songs to de-stress yourself.
Studies have shown the benefit of meditating both short-term and long-term. It relaxes your entire body by focusing on your breath and relaxing. Look up “study break meditation” and I promise you that thousands of videos will come up. One simple, short meditation is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. It is an easy, quick way to relax your mind and body to give yourself a little break. You breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, then hold for 7 counts, then finally you breath out through your mouth for 8 seconds. Holding your breath causes oxygen to fill your lungs and circulate through your body, helping you relax. Practice this at least once a day and I promise you will start seeing a difference in your stress levels.
Believe in God? Read some scripture
Scripture helps to calm me down in stressful situations. Here is some when you are feeling stressed: Jeremiah 29:11, Proverb 29:11, Ephesians 4:26, Ephesians 4:31-32, Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 6:34, Hebrews 12:6
Get sufficient rest
I know it is tempting to stay up all night and study because maybe you think that is going to be better for your test but I promise you that getting sleep is actually so much better. It is a time for your brain to rest and retain all of the information you have been learning. Plus the more tired you are the day of the test, the worse you will probably do. Rest is essential for good work to happen so instead of going through your flashcards for the 50th time, GO TO BED!
When in doubt, just dance it out. Put on one song that you know you can dance to move your body! It will help take your mind off of the test and it will also be a good way to get in your exercise for the week. Put on a song and go dance now!
Focus on what you can control
This entire week has been preparation for the finals next week which is already stressful in and of itself. It is easy to get anxious and worried, even about things that are out of your control. It is important to remind yourself of the things you have control over and the things you don’t. If you can’t control it, then don’t stress about it because all that does is make you feel worse and probably more unproductive. Things will work out the way that it is meant to and all you can do is try your best – doing the best you can with the things you can control. You got this!