I’ve heard my fair share of finals week horror stories: Thirty pages worth of papers to write, an exam accounting for nearly half of a class grade, watching the sun rise through the 24-hour study lounge windows. Finals are almost here and this means one thing is sure to creep up and catch us at our weakest: stress.
Some of us are professionals at managing stress while others break down at the mere thought of a blue book. But don’t go into lock down mode just yet; there are ways to deal. You don’t have to sweat the small stuff.
De-clutter to de-stress. Many students spend much time studying in their rooms, where clutter can lead to higher stress levels. Say sayonara to the unneeded junk. A clean and simple living space can create a more peaceful and Zen-like state of mind.
Power naps. A short nap, not lasting longer than 30 minutes, can work wonders. During the mid-day slump, set aside even 15 minutes for a short siesta to energize and rejuvenate your mind.
Get in touch with your artistic side. Many benefits can come from expressing creativity through art, music or similar activities. Activities like these engage your mind in a meditative-like state, eliminating stressful thoughts. Journaling is a great way to relax. Writer’s block? Try finding a journal that poses a different topic to write about every day so you never run out of ideas.
Eat healthfully. This is pretty basic and yet a key ingredient to beating stress and anxiety. A nutritional diet supports good health and well being, which helps you manage stress.
Take the stairs. Studies show that just 10 minutes of exercise three times a day can ease depression, perk up your mood and increase feelings of comfort.
Create a to-do list and actually do it. Whether it’s that library book that you still haven’t returned or the appointment you keep forgetting to make, it’s draining your energy. Set aside a block of time and commit to taking on the tasks at hand. Doing so can alleviate stress caused from unfinished business that might affect your last few weeks of school.
Monitor your thoughts. I am a firm believer in the idea that most of our lives are the result of our thoughts. Think you’re going to fail that final? You’ve already increased your chances.
It’s a strange concept, but if we can imagine the way we want a particular situation to be, then there is a greater chance that it will happen. In the words of philosopher William James, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.”
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Stress isn’t what hurts us, but the way we handle it does. Keeping the faith during turbulent times such as finals week can help you ease through.
What good is worrying? Regardless of what might happen, worrying is wasted energy that could be spent on something constructive. Let’s take the last few weeks to enjoy our time here at Rider and keep our stress levels low. Take control of stress before it takes control of you.
Amanda Sandlin is a sophomore journalism major.