Exam Week Self-Care

Here are six tips to help you survive finals week and prioritize your mental health.

We have made it to the end of the semester! Well, sort of. We have the last hurdle of making it through finals week. With most students scrambling to finish essays and studying for exams, we are at the most stressful part of the semester. Here are seven tips to help you survive finals week and prioritize your mental health:

  1. Have a Self-Care Plan

A big part of self-care is being proactive. Make a plan of what steps you can take when you begin to feel overwhelmed with your workload. This can include having your favorite study playlist ready for when you need help focusing, prepping snacks you can eat when you need a study break, and setting aside a specific time to visit with friends or do something you enjoy.

2. Treat Yourself with Kindness

During the stress of finals week, it is easy to fall into patterns of negative self-talk. Those negative thoughts are valid, and it is okay to acknowledge them, but it is important to remember that those doubts are not an accurate representation of you or your strengths. When negative thoughts start to creep in, take the time to consciously validate yourself and your abilities.

3. Take Care of Yourself Physically

With the stress of exams, it is easy to develop tunnel vision and neglect the essential care that keeps us healthy. It is important to remember to set aside time for proper meals, adequate hydration, the recommended 30 minutes of exercise, and the proper amount of sleep. Maintaining these healthy habits can help keep you feel energized and ready to tackle the stringent workload.

4. Set Aside a Specific Study Space

Make sure you have a space set aside solely for studying. This area should be separate from where you will take your breaks and should be organized with all of the items you might need to be productive in your studying and essay writing. This includes textbooks, writing utensils, your laptop, a water bottle, and snack. Plus, this helps set a clear boundary between when you need to be in an academic mindset and when you are relaxing.

5. Take Breaks

Studying all day, every day would be stressful and tire you out. Instead, make sure to take a 30-minute break every 90 minutes to allow yourself time to decompress, clear your mind, and re-energize yourself for your next study session. These breaks should be a time for you to do something you truly enjoy or find relaxing.

6. Celebrate and Reward Yourself for your Achievements

When you complete an essay, study session, or exam, make sure to take the time to acknowledge your hard work. Watch an episode of your favorite show, eat some ice cream, host a small dance party with your roommate, or plan a small hangout with your friends. Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure that it is something you enjoy so that you can have a moment of reprieve before getting back to work.

7. Remind Yourself of These Truths

Even though exam week is stressful, it is important to remember that this is temporary, you are strong and capable enough to get through this, and that you are not alone. It is okay to ask your friends, peers, and professors for help — they all want to see you succeed.

Remember to work hard, do your best, and take time to practice self-care. Good luck with your exams!

By: Merry Castle

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