During the last two weeks of the semester, procrastination among college students reaches an all-time high. This is the time of year you will find students studying late in Club Lib, consuming large amounts of caffeinated drinks, and shuffling through loads of papers.
Stress is not inherently bad when it is maintained at a healthy level. Being at the ideal level of stress keeps you on your toes and motivates you to study for your exams and finish your final papers. When you can function at this level, you are able to push yourself to do your best without exceeding your stress level. Unfortunately, external factors outside of studying for exams can increase your level of stress! Here are five tips along with some fun events to reduce and maintain a healthy stress level during finals week…
Short exercise breaks can help relieve stress, socialize, and burn off the extra sugary calories you may consume. Take a jog downtown, ride your bike, do yoga or attend a RecFit happy hour class! Exercise helps you focus, it gives you additional energy, and it releases endorphins to make you feel better.
Consider attending group exercise May 1 – May 7th, all classes are free!
- Eat Nutritious Meals and Snacks
We often eat even more unhealthily during finals week than they do the rest of the semester. In a time crunch, we go for quick, tasty, on-the-go foods and mindlessly munch away until we are left with an empty package. This is a big mistake! Junk food gives you instant energy or a sugar high, but it affects your concentration and memory and will end in a food coma or sugar crash.
Eating nutritious foods will energize you and increase your concentration and retention. Check out the healthy vending machines around campus for more nutritious choices. If you’re choosing snacks from your kitchen or TDR, fruits and vegetables are best; they have the required vitamins and nutrients to prevent sickness and give you energy!
- Catch some Zzz’s
Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. If you do, make sure you have time to take a nap so you get the sleep your body needs. Sleep will improve the quality and retention of studying, even though you may have less study time. Less is more.
- Prioritize & Plan
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” If you start studying without a plan, you are likely to focus on the wrong material or get distracted. Plan how to allocate your time and what to study.
Stop by the Stress Fair, April 27th from 10-1pm on the Quad! AU RecFit and other campus partners will be tabling about stress management, playing lawn games, and loving dogs on the quad!
- Ask for Help
Don’t afraid to ask for help! If you do not understand what to do or study, ask someone. You could speak to your professor during office hours or talk to your friends and classmates. Not to quote High School Musical, but we’re all in this together. Your professor wants to see you succeed and so do your friends!
Incorporating these steps into your routine during finals week will help you manage stress in healthy ways. Remember to stay calm and take everything one step at a time. Finals week is marathon, not a sprint!
We hope to see you at our final’s week program “Release the Beast” on May 2nd from 2-5pm. Drop-in anytime to Cassell Fitness Center studios for meditation/relaxation, aromatherapy, and DIY trail mix to make as some nutritious study snacks!
Best of luck,
Bobby McCabe, Wellness Ambassador