How to Kill Finals Stress

stressIt’s 11p.m. on the last Sunday before finals week. You’ve armed yourself with all the tools necessary for the long road ahead: the textbook, the laptop, the class notes, and the essay prompt are neatly arranged in front of you, but you have yet to embark on that seemingly endless journey.

Why? Because Netflix just added two more seasons of that one show from the 90’s, you already popped three bags of popcorn, and it’d be a shame to waste it. Duh.

In your heart of hearts, you know you’re procrastinating. But there’s no need to worry: It’s not your fault! Blame stress. For some, the stress starts coming on strong during week ten.

”I think there is a certain amount of stress that comes during dead week,” says Sally Borowczak, “when you start to think about if you have done your best.”

But who can blame us for feeling a bit overwhelmed? With group projects, papers, and presentations piling up on top of various personal obligations, it’s easy to fall victim to some unhealthy, often counterproductive behaviors.

“The most stressful part of finals week is realizing that everything about the term is about to end,” Borowczak said, “I feel like no matter what, there is never going to be enough time.”

Often times, fighting off stress is just a matter of finding out what works for you as an individual.

“Music and art really help me settle into work mode,” said Tori Versteeg, “It helps me get what I need to get done in a relaxing and timely manner.”

But what if you haven’t found what works for you? We’ve got a few suggestions!

  • The first is the most obvious. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast – Ok, any Even something as simple as an apple and a granola bar can give your brain a much needed boost of energy to help you make the grade on that math final.
  • Find the humor in any situation – Quit being so serious! When you’re stressed, your mental fuse seems to burn up a lot quicker than usual, making something as simple as a flat tire trigger an explosive cursing fit. Instead of getting mad, find the humor in it. Just think: if it was happening to your best friend, wouldn’t you be laughing it off already?
  • Think “big picture.” – Instead of cursing your flat tire to the underworld for making you late to class, realize how lucky you are to have a valid excuse for walking in late! It sounds simple, because it is.
  • Prioritize – Make a list. Again, if it sounds too easy, that’s only because it is. Take five minutes and a post-it note to draft a list of your final projects and papers, in the order in which their due. This way, you can cross things off and see the progress as you go.
  • Snuggle your pet – Yes, this really works. Spending time with your pets has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, giving you an excuse to get some exercise and take your dog for a walk!