As finals creep up and we realize how many cumulative exams we are going to have to take in one week dawns on us, here are some easy ways you can stay healthy during finals.
1. Plan ahead
If you plan your week of finals out a few weeks in advance, you’ll be ahead of the game when you get to crunch time. It’s always good to be one step ahead of the stress of not knowing what to study first.
Check your college’s schedule for finals and double check with your professors for when your tests actually are. You should also plan ahead as to where you want to study during finals week and see if you can get individual study rooms on campus to study quietly (or with a group of classmates).
#SpoonTip: Try studying at a coffee shop instead of at your usual spot in the library.
Sleep is THE most important thing during finals. Despite studying for hours on end, if you don’t get enough sleep, you are hindering your brain and may lose the information you need. It can also make you feel more anxious if you’re sleep deprived, so make sure you get your eight hours.
3. Stay active and take breaks
Don’t be afraid to take a step away from your textbooks and PowerPoint slides and take a walk or bike ride to clear your mind and de-stress a bit. Taking that walk or going to the gym for a little while will help your mind reenergize, and it can help you focus when you get back to studying.
4. Feed your brain
Food is also going to be one of the biggest make-or-break factors in staying healthy during the crazy times of finals week. Make sure you are consuming your recommended calories and eating some great brain food to keep you focused and energized for the day. Eat breakfast before your early finals, since it is proven to help with maintaining cognitive functions and getting better grades.
5. Take naps
Take naps. I may be biased towards naps, since I may be what you call a professional napper, but taking a 20-minute nap can actually help you. You may think you are running out of time, but taking a short nap break can help you feel more energized and get you ready to jump right back into studying.
6. Take advantage of your school’s events
At the College of Charleston, our school puts on free events during finals week to help us take breaks and de-stress. There is usually free coffee early in the morning before the 8 am exams, a day when dogs from a local shelter come and hang out with students and their own dogs outside of the library, and even professional massages in our Student Center. Take advantage of your college’s events to stay healthy and happy.
7. Stay as zen as possible
It may seem hard to do during a week in which you have six finals to prepare for and no time to study for them, but staying as zen as possible is going to be your best asset. Here are some tips to de-stress and stay zen.
8. Be wary of caffeine
Let’s be real — caffeine is a college student’s (legal) best friend. It gets you through your all-nighters and helps you wake up for the early morning classes you probably regret taking. Unfortunately, having too much caffeine in coffee or tea can actually hurt you in the long run. On a positive note, the right amount of tea and coffee can be helpful while studying. It’s all about moderation.