Beating the Stress of Finals

It’s that time of year again. No, not the holidays. This time of the year is when college students began studying for their finals. For some, this may not be a troubling time, but for most students, it can end up adding a lot of stress onto an already stressful schedule.

I have already been through two years of college myself and am about to finish up my first semester of my junior year. Even though I have had much experience by now with stress due to finals and last minute projects, it never seems to get easier. This semester holds five finals (AKA five times the stress) and two projects that will determine my life as of next semester. I’ve already signed up for my future classes, so I really need to do well on all of these tests. In case you didn’t know, this put real stress and strain on a person. As of right now, I am aching for the Christmas break to hurry up and arrive. For the past couple of weeks, my left eye has started to twitch and I know it’s not my allergies. I’ve got too much stress on myself, and I’ve already began some home remedies. I don’t use those energy shots to keep me focused. My tactics head in a different direction. I have a few tips for those students who are stressed out.

I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but the first thing I want you to do is RELAX. I’m sure your college classes are the most important thing in your life at the moment, but don’t stress about that, there are always tricks to get away with not doing homework and other assignments that won’t weigh as heavily on your grade as exams and essays. One of the best things you can do for yourself is relax your body and mind. I’m not saying that you need to stop studying, but take a break. There is a point that you can get too much stress, and from that point on, no amount of studying will help because you’re too tired to absorb anything you read. I suggest that you take at least an hour or two out of the day and use it to do something constructive that relieves stress. Here are a few suggestions that I have tried.

1.) Nap

Take a nap. It doesn’t have to be a four hour snooze. A short power nap will help the body relax and give that brain a rest so it will be ready for whatever the rest of the world throws at it. Even if you take a thirty minute nap, that’s at least a half hour that wasn’t spent adding to stress and exhausting the mind.

2.) Yoga

I’ve recently started Yoga and I have to say that it is definitely a way to keep your mind off of studies and stress. Most people compare Yoga with simple stretches that they may have seen on TV or some other form of media. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t a walk in the park. The balance and strength used in a Yoga workout will leave you sweating but refreshed. If you try Yoga, then plan on spending more than one hour on this, because it can’t be rushed (remember, rushing equals stress). Yoga is meant to strengthen the body and relax the mind as long as it is done right. It is a great stress-buster.

3.) Work Out

I like to work out in the mornings. It gets it out of the way early, and it helps to feel better about oneself. A good hour -long weightlifting or cardio session can do wonders for both mind and body. During a workout, I never think about anything except for the exercise that I’m doing at that moment. Also, if a hard workout is planned for the morning, you can use up all of the energy that otherwise would have been used to fuel stress during the day. By exercising, you decrease the risks of depression due to over-studying for classes. I suggest that you consider working out on the days when time is not an issue. There will be enough time, because you take an interest in your body and giving the ‘ole noggin a much needed relief from stress. This is definitely one of the best stress relievers out there. I challenge you to try and prove me wrong on this point. I am a walking testimony.

4.) Read a book

No, don’t read another school book. Find something that is interesting personally, socially, or another way, and have a nice long read. I’ve done this many times and find that I’m happier after reading something that wasn’t assigned to me. The stress relief from a good book can’t be underestimated. The freedom to make your own decision of what to read is what gives you such pleasure when you finish. I have found that laying in bed and reading can relax the body and give the brain a nice rest from all of that “E = MC2” stuff. Never underestimate the power of reading. It is a wonderful way to ease stress and the never-ending brain strain.

5.) Laughter

The other night, I was tired of studying, so I talked my roommates into watching a comedy. We laughed like idiots at the comedian. They say that laughter can add time onto one’s life. I believe that to be true. Don’t be afraid to have a deep laugh. You know what I mean. That’s the kind of laugh that comes from the pit of your stomach, and stopping it is not an option. When finished, you should barely be able to breathe. Laughter is a great, if not fun, way to relieve the tension and stress due to finals and other everyday stress.

So go ahead and shut that book. Take some time out for yourself and don’t over think it. I know classes are important, but so is a person’s mental and physical health. Don’t let life pass you by solely because you just “have” to study 24/7. Even if it doesn’t get easier year after year, taking a break can help a person cope with the stress and strain. These suggestions I have made might as well be prescriptions to a healthier mind, body, and spirit (not to mention final exam scores). I prescribe that you do one of these activities or find your own. Don’t put too much stress on that brain. It’s the only one you’re going to be issued, so take care of it. Take a chance. Relax your mind, body, and soul. You’ll see that it makes a world of difference. Good luck with the tests.

P.S. These hints don’t only apply to college. They can be applied to your everyday life as well. Don’t stress yourself. RELAX!

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