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  • Aswathi Nair

How to Destress Before Finals

Are you overwhelmed and stressed about finals week? Are you looking for ways to cope with the stress and anxiety as we move into the final stretch of this semester? As we approach finals season, we tend to get really overwhelmed and stop taking care of ourselves mentally and physically. With that being said, here are a few ways and tips to destress and take care of yourselves during final exams.

1. Journaling

Simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to help understand them can go a long way for your stress and anxiety. Keeping a journal or even journaling from time to time can be a great idea to help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. It allows you a place to talk about your feelings without judgment and it will help you see your emotions in a clearer way.

Some journaling prompts to use:

  • List four ways that you’re hard on yourself. How can you offer yourself a bit more support?

  • Did you feel stressed or anxious today? If so, what triggered that feeling, and what did you do to overcome it?

  • What am I most fearful of? Why?

  • Where do I feel the anxiety in my body?

  • What do I need at this moment?

2. Meditation/ Breathing Exercises

If you are feeling stressed, anxious, tense, or worried, you might want to consider meditation as a way to feel better. Even a few minutes of breathwork or meditation can help calm you down and continue with a clearer mind. Meditation can help with a few things such as gaining a new perspective on stressful situations, building skills to manage your stress and focusing on the present. There are different types of meditations such as:, guided meditations, mantra meditations, and mindfulness meditations.

Some meditation apps/resources I would recommend:

3. Exercising/ Moving Your Body

Exercising during a time of stress is a good outlet to deal with frustration. According to the Mayo Clinic, any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. It has been proven to pump up your endorphins, which are your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. When your body is going through a stressful period, it tends to go into a fight or flight response, which exercise can reduce. Exercise can also improve your mood and help you relax. Overall exercising has a positive impact on your body during stressful periods such as finals week, so why not try to move your body this week?

Some resources for workouts that I recommend:

Watch/ Read Something

I know that this might seem distracting and not beneficial, especially during finals week, but bear with me. Some psychologists say that TV can be an effective way to relieve stress. Movies and shows allow us to be distracted from our overworked minds and daily stresses, therefore it is the perfect way to relax from the stresses of finals week. Reading also offers an escape from our daily struggles in the same respect. So watch some Netflix or read that new book you’ve been putting off!

Some recommendations to watch/read:

  • Wednesday - TV Show

  • White Lotus - TV Show

  • Love Actually - Movie

  • The Holiday - Movie

  • Crying in H Mart - Book by Michelle Zauner

  • One Italian Summer - Book by Rebecca Serle

I hope these tips and recommendations help you destress during finals week. REMEMBER to give yourself grace during this week as well! Good luck and take care of yourselves as you go through all your exams!

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