How to Manage Stress During Finals
This article was written by Mary Flatt. The original version can be found here.
With the last day of classes now behind you, the focus turns to exams. Here are a few tips to help you get through the week in healthy fashion.
Eating right is one of the most important things to do in order to keep your body healthy. Eating food with vitamins and minerals can prevent sickness, gives you energy, and makes your whole body feel better. If you don’t have enough time to go to the store, find a friend with extra meal swipes and head to the dining hall. There are also several organizations around campus providing free meals during finals — SCPC will host Midnight Breakfast on Monday, April 30, and the Christian Campus Fellowship will have its own midnight breakfast every night before finals at 11:55 p.m.
Exercise can help you focus, gives you more energy, and releases endorphins to make you feel better. Even a quick 15-minute walk around campus is beneficial. Breaks have also been proven to help retain knowledge; studying for too long at one time makes it more difficult to absorb information after a certain point. For a longer break, check out the CRC G.I.T. FIT classes, which are free all week.
Every part of your body, including your brain, works better when you’re hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink enough water, but it’s important, especially when you’re drinking a lot of coffee. Try to have at least one bottle of water with every cup of coffee to avoid headaches and other negative side effects of dehydration.
Get enough sleep
Sometimes people think it's necessary to pull an all-nighter before a final. Try to avoid this at all costs. Going a whole night without sleep can affect your body for days after. Sleep improves the quality and retention of studying and keeps your body running smoothly. Try to plan, prioritize, and stay focused so that you will have enough time for a good night's sleep.
Find a good study spot
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to study environments, so find something that works for you. Try a quiet place where you won't be distracted. If you are in a spot where it's hard to focus, it's better to leave and find a better location than stay all day and not get anything done.
It sounds obvious, but stopping to take several deep breaths when you feel your stress levels rising can help more than you might think. For a longer relaxation session, check out Georgia Tech’s Meditation Club.
Talk to people
If you’re having a hard time understanding something, ask a friend or classmate for help. They may be able to save you a lot of time and stress, and teaching can help them practice the material even more. Be sure to talk to friends and family if you are feeling stressed, and remember that Georgia Tech’s Counseling Center is here to help if you need it.