Taking Care of Yourself During the Most Stressful Time of the Year

For high school and university students across the world, it’s the most wonderful, yet most stressful time of the year. It’s that time of year when students are biting their nails, and hitting the books while trying not to cry every second. It’s finals week. And it’s absolutely horrible.

But whether or not you’ve got stacks of papers to write and way too many exams to study for, your mental and physical wellness is top priority.

While trying your best to end the semester with a good GPA, you also need to be focused on being attentive to your body and what it needs. So, here’s a list of things to do to get you through finals week in a healthy and happy way.

1) Eat something. Way too many students forget to eat while they’re slaving away in the library. Pack a quick granola bar in your bag as you’re walking out the door, or take 5 minutes out of your day to make a sandwich. Maybe work in a cafe, so you’re reminded of food as you study and don’t forget to eat. Either way, food is important for your body and energy level. But you’re not only fueling your body, you’re fueling your brain also, and we all know how much your brain needs the help this week.

2) Take some time to kick back. Even if it’s 10 minutes of simple meditation at the start of your day, or a quick walk in a park, take some time to yourself, away from the books. This will calm you down some, and add some happiness to one of the worst weeks of the year. Plus, taking 10-30 minutes out of your day won’t affect your grade as much as you think. If you really do know the material, and even if you don’t, 30 minutes isn’t going to kill you.

3) Sleep when you can. Aside from study time, eating, and doing even a 10-minute meditation, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It doesn’t need to be a full 8 hours because we all know that’s not going to happen. Just try to get enough. Studying for all of those hours will be pointless if you can’t stay awake long enough to answer the questions in the exam.

4) Plan. For many students including myself, planning out the week ahead of time helps me be calmer and more composed. If you know when you’re doing what from day to day, it helps you to stay organized and it truly prepares you for the week. Plan it out the week before, and include things like eating, sleeping, and talking a quick walk. Make little reminders or to-do lists, and follow that planner to the best of your ability. Plus, it’ll keep you from procrastinating.

5) Be nice to people. We’re all stressed, and we’re all complete and total messes. The last thing someone needs is to be snapped at or treated badly. Whether you’re sleep deprived, hungry, or just plain stressed, taking it out on others will only make their week worse than it needs to be.

Being nice will bring you back to the real world and you’ll realize that your gpa isn’t necessarily the most important thing.

6) Lastly, turn your phone off. Social media and texting are tempting, no matter how stressed you are. Turn it off, and leave it somewhere you won’t touch it. Maybe hand it off to a friend for a while for them to keep in a drawer, turned off. Or, just leave it at home, go study at a library or cafe, and check it when you get back. Phones are a wonderful thing and it’s always good to keep up with what’s going on in the world, but keeping off your phone will give you more time to eat and sleep, which are way more important.

No matter your grades of future plans, you should always be your top priority. Don’t get too caught up in the grades, and remember that a number on a transcript is not a statement of your intelligence or ability to succeed. Take care of yourself, and good luck.

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Liane Stieglitz
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I am an 18 year old from the USA just trying to spread the word about the social and political issues happening around the world. I want to use this platform to expand my love of journalism, learning, and helping people live informed lives.

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