Four Mindful Ways to Manage Your Stress During Finals 

By Meimei Tannehill, Margaux Miller, Adri Thomas, Ava Wohner, Jordy Puterman, Margot Paschen, Mackenzie Grove, Caitlin Leib, Madeline Godin, Nyah Snezek, Lily Meienburg

It’s that time again, the leaves are starting to change, the weather is getting colder and classes are getting more difficult. Finals are fast approaching, and so is the stress that comes with them. 

Stress is inevitable in college. Between schoolwork, extracurriculars, living on your own and off-campus life, there is a lot to manage. Stress in college is seen year-round, and there are many ways to decrease it in your day-to-day life. However, finals are a particularly stressful time, and it is important to put yourself first during this time. 

Tip #1: Schedule your time 

It is important to remember that you have many things to do and only so many hours in a day. To ensure you complete all your tasks, it is important to manage your time. Start by making a list of everything you must do, followed by making a daily study schedule. Remember to balance your schedule and not overload it, make it realistic according to how much you have to do and how much time you have. By not overloading your schedule, you will be able to do mindful work and not rush on assignments or studying. 

Tip #2: Eat healthy and hydrate 

Food and water are very impactful on stress. There are foods that increase and decrease stress. You should focus on protein, pre and probiotics and foods that are high in magnesium and vitamin D. Cooking is also a mindful experience. Cooking channels all our senses making it therapeutic. It is important to think about what you are drinking as well as eating. Drinking water is crucial to doing mindful work. There is a strong relationship between stress and hydration. Your body gets stressed when you are dehydrated. A decrease in water will cause your stress hormones to increase. A healthy and hydrated diet is always important, but especially during high stress midterm times. 

Tip #3: Get good rest 

ShapeSleep is very beneficial for decreasing stress. Studies show a direct correlation between a good night’s sleep and stress levels. Adults who sleep less than eight hours report higher stress levels. Those who don’t get enough sleep also report feeling more irritable, overwhelmed, lack of motivation and losing patience. These are all things that make studying more difficult and less beneficial. Not only can sleep help decrease stress but reducing stress can also improve your sleep. Practicing mindfulness before bed for 10-30 minutes can help improve the duration and quality of your sleep. There are many options for guided meditation that you can access on your phone. When you are studying for finals, always remember that it is more important to get an extra hour of sleep rather than reading over your textbook another time. 

Tip #4: Do what makes you happy 

When students are stressed out about school, it is easy for them to only think about the long list of tasks they need to get done. They will often sacrifice things they typically do that make them happy in order to create more time for studying. Many people do not realize the importance of being social, prioritizing their relationships and spending time with friends. Simple things such as laughing, connecting with others and being musical or creative are stress relievers. Having fun helps you feel less overwhelmed from stressors. It may be hard to find time for things you like to do in high-stress times, but it should always be a priority. These activities do not need to take a lot of time, you can leave the library and go for a walk with a friend, go get food with your roommate or watch a TV show that always makes you laugh. There are many quick ways to appreciate joy and decrease your stress. 

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