Finals week is probably one of the most dreaded and simultaneously awaited weeks out of the school year. You’re faced with finishing up final projects, getting virtually no sleep, weird eating habits, and studying to get good grades on your exams. It can be easy to put homework and tests before self-care and sleep, but the truth is that the better you take care of your well-being, the better you’ll succeed.
Taking care of yourself during finals week might be the last thing on your to-do list but really it should be priority! College students are some of the most stressed out individuals, and it’s really not surprising. Many students are juggling work, academics, internships, and more while trying to get 8 hours of sleep and keep up with their social circles. This feeling only intensifies during finals week.
It’s important to keep mental and physical health at the forefront of your mind during inherently stressful times. Here are just a few ways that you can keep the grades and your sanity during finals week.
Tips for avoiding (complete) burnout during finals week
Get some sleep
Sometimes that extra hour of sleep at night can be more productive and beneficial than an extra hour of studying. Students should get at least seven hours of asleep, especially during finals season. Sounds crazy but its true. Choosing sleep can help you be more awake, alert and help you remember all the information you studied that night before!
With so many things running through your mind at night it can be difficult to turn off those thoughts and actually fall asleep. Try downloading a sleep app to help you put away your mental to-do list and actually catch some Z’s. Unplugging your phone and stopping your studies 30 minutes before bed might also be a good idea.
Make a study schedule
One of the most stressful parts about studying for finals is trying to find the time between classes, work, and anything else that might take up your calendar. Creating a schedule a few weeks in advance can help you feel at ease knowing when you’ll have time to study. Not to mention, this can help you be more present in any situation while not having to panic about when you’ll get another opportunity to hit the books.
Evernote is a great resource for people who are on the go. It syncs to your laptop and phone so you can jot down any thought you have at any time! You can also take notes for class and have them handy at the drop of a hat.
Also remember that your brain needs breaks sometimes, or else it won’t retain as much information. If you plan on studying for five hours, maybe try balancing it out. For example, many students study for 50 minutes and take a break for 10.
Get some Meditating in
Whether its taking a moment to have some quiet time, or going on a run it’s important to give your mind some rest! Try these methods for creating some margin in your mind.
- Exercise is a really good way to get out of your head. It can help you feel more focused and less restless while you’re studying. Take a walk or jog up and down the stairs. If you’re really tight on time, just drop and do 10 push ups to get the blood flowing. You should be getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity in a day. Break your studying with a 30-minute walk or stretch. Leaving the area you’re studying at also helps to give the brain a breather.
- Meditation is another really great practice that allows you to check in with yourself and your body. There are a lot of great resources for mediation. Calm is a great way to get 5 minutes of guided mediation and then be on your way! Or, turn your bible app on audio and pick your favorite verse to meditate to. Whatever suits you best, just make sure to be nice to your body and mind by giving it a break between all the cramming.
- A pop of lavender or peppermint essential oil can do wonders! Diffusing it while you’re studying or placing it on your wrists can help you de-stress and stay focused!
Pick a playlist
Music is a great way to de-stress and focus all at once. Listening to music without words is usually helpful when studying so that your brain isn’t trying to choose between what to focus on.
No time to make a playlist? Lucky for you we have a Spotify playlist curated just for you to conquer finals week. Hit play and get productive!