Distressing from finals (MTSU Sidelines/ Olivia Ladd)

How to (final)ly de-stress at the end of the semester

Photo by Olivia Ladd/ Lifestyles Editor

By Angel L. Thurston/ Contributing Writer

It’s no secret: We all dread finals week. We seem fine for the entire semester, but when this week comes around, we all go a little crazy in the inside — sometimes, even on the outside.

Some of us believe that the only way to survive finals week is to stress out and cram, but we promise that does not have to be the case. In fact, there are many things that you can do to de-stress and have a relaxing week of finals.

Here is a list of things you can do to make finals week less stressful:

Staying Healthy

It is important that we physically feel balanced. Eating healthy is the first step. If you are like me, you think breakfast is unimportant and can be skipped. But you’re wrong! I’ve been wrong for a huge portion of my life. Recently, I have found that eating a healthy breakfast every morning boosts my energy. Just eating fruit, oatmeal or eggs can help you stay energized and motivated for a few hours. Throughout the day, when you’re craving snacks, choose healthier options such as nuts, fruit, tea, vegetables, whole grain bread and, if your sweet tooth has a say in things, a minimal amount of dark chocolate (But when does anyone ever eat only a minimal amount of chocolate?). Making the conscious decision to eat healthier can take you a long way. You also need to exercise in order to feel great physically. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Sometimes taking out an old jump rope, jogging in place, doing push-ups, or planking for a few minutes can do just the trick to making you feel energized for the day. Lastly, one of my personal favorite tips for physical well-being is simply taking a shower. When I’ve been trying to study for hours, there’s nothing better than feeling clean and comfortable. If you’re feeling stressed out, hop in the shower and watch the stress literally wash away.

Listening to Music

Let’s get one thing straight: Music is life. Listening to music can do instant wonders to your body, such as relieve stress and combat depression. If you’re trying to cram for all four of your finals in one day, listening to instrumental music can help you concentrate. If you think instrumental music consists of solely classical music, think again. My personal favorite instrumentals are soundtracks from video games, such as “Legend of Zelda,” “Kingdom Hearts” and “Minecraft.” Yeah, I’m that nerdy girl. Video game soundtracks are specifically made to help you concentrate, though. Listening to music lifts my mood and even motivates me to study harder. If that isn’t your thing, listen to ambient music, such as Brian Eno or Max Richter. It’s relaxing and also ignorable, so it’s the perfect backdrop for your studies, or your study break. You can also keep listening to your normal tunes, but on a soft volume so you’re not tempted to sing every lyric instead of focusing on what you’re reading. However, sometimes all you really need is to take a minute to listen to your favorite song and have a little fun. I am guilty of having a dance session while I listen to  “Shake It Off.” Taking a moment to jam out can lift your mood.

Taking breaks

Your final exam is tomorrow. You’ve been studying for hours. Why quit now? Whether you think you can last another two hours or you think you can’t last another minute, having regular 15-minute breaks after 45-minute study sessions can lower your stress levels. Besides the things listed above, here are a few other suggestions: Stroll outside to get some fresh air, get creative with an adult coloring book, meditate, practice a few yoga poses, take a 15-minute nap (any longer will just make it worse), pet an animal or have a laugh with your roommates and friends. Any of these things can help improve your concentration and memory. These breaks can also be used as rewards so that you will stay motivated to study harder.

Stop Worrying

We know what you’re thinking: It’s easier said than done. How can anybody just stop worrying? Trust me, this one is still a mystery to me sometimes, and is definitely no easy task. Sometimes you simply have to get over your worries and just accept what is. All you can do is your best so there is no point in stressing constantly. Study hard, but stop dreading that you may fail. Even if you do, it won’t be the end of the world.  Your thoughts are what translate into actions, so think positively and manifest positive outcomes. Worrying and stressing will only make things worse.

Although you may not be able to implement every one of these ideas, trying at least one or two of them can be beneficial. Let’s all take one step back and take a deep breath. Finals week doesn’t have to be as stressful as we make it.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Olivia Ladd email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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One Response

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  1. Howl
    Dec 02, 2016 - 12:13 PM

    Excellent piece of writing, and a very useful tips all around!

    Reply

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