How to take care of yourself during finals
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Remember to go beyond the books during this stressful time.
Navigating the high-stakes landscape of finals week can be challenging for college students, often leaving them overwhelmed and stressed. The pressure rises, late-night study sessions become more common and the caffeine intake on campus skyrockets. During this time, it is important for students to maintain their physical and mental health.
Here are some tips to help you navigate this stressful period.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s necessary for students to get plenty of sleep in order to stay well-rested and healthy. Although it may be tempting, avoid pulling all-nighters as they can cause further issues.
According to circadian health expert Mollie Eastman, poor sleep can lead to problems with cognitive and brain health, emotional and mental health, growth and development, and more. It’s important to find out how much sleep you may need in order to be your best and healthiest self.
“Seven to nine hours is commonly referenced for healthy adults, but for some a little less than seven might be appropriate, and for others, a little more than nine might be needed,” Eastman said.
In stressful times like finals, more sleep might be necessary.
“You’re often going to have more of a sleep need or a sleep hunger than you would if you’re living more of a sedentary lifestyle,” Eastman said.
It’s important to consume a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar intake, as they can lead to energy crashes.
Instead, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and focused.
Places such as CoreLife in the Schine Student Center or Otto’s Juice Box in Goldstein offer nutritious options right on campus.
Take Short Breaks
It may feel like you’re being unproductive, but in reality, it’s important to plan short breaks during study sessions to prevent burnout.
Methods with implemented breaks like the Pomodoro Technique suggest studying for 25 minutes, and then taking a 5-minute break. Want to stay off your devices? Try activities like a quick stretch, meditation, or snack to stay engaged.
One of the best ways to feel less stressed during finals week is to use calendars, planners, or apps like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar to organize your study schedule.
Break down your study material into specific topics and allocate time for each. This can also help turn your studying into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Find a Good Study Spot
A location can set the tone for your study session, so it’s important to pick one that works best for you. There are plenty of places at Syracuse University to choose from, whether it be your dorm, a library, a coffee shop, or even a classroom.
Senior public relations and English major Allie D’Angelo recommends Bird Library.
“Every floor has its own unique atmosphere,” D’Angelo said. “If you’re looking for a more social environment you can head to the basement, or if you need complete silence there are floors that cater to that as well.”
As difficult as finals season can be, it’s important to try your best to maintain a positive mindset.
According to the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, negative thoughts can hinder your performance and can harm your mental and physical health.
In order to manage your stress, practice mindfulness or meditation, talk to friends, family, or classmates about your feelings, and seek help from teachers, tutors, or counseling services if you need it. The Barnes Center offers counseling and mental health services, which you can read more about here.
Remember, it’s important to strike a balance between studying and taking care of yourself. Listen to your body and mind, and make adjustments to your routine as needed.
Good luck with your finals!