As final exams fall upon us, students everywhere are beginning to feel more stressed out and lose their productive habits. One of the biggest causes of bad grades and poor performance is the amount of stress students put themselves through during busy times, as they fail to take care of themselves. When we try to distract ourselves from the impending doom of exams, we fall into the social media and Netflix traps, order all the take-out we can, and hide from our responsibilities.

If you look around you, you can find students who are staying on track, are keeping up their grades, and somehow go the gym all at once. How do they do it? These students are turning their stress into something productive, filling their breaks with worthwhile activities, and keeping themselves accountable. While you might not have the time to Marie-Kondo your life this exam season, we've come up with a few simple ways that you can be productive through your stress!

1. Packing 

Some students may be 'Hometown Heroes' but a majority of university students are people who live in a different city. While some of you may be living in your school's city for the summer, most of us move back home to live off our parents for a few months. So the next time you think you can't stare at your notes any longer, take a productive break by beginning to pack up for home. 

2. Meal Prepping 

A major thing that we all let happen in times of stress is ordering take-out galore and making comfort food any time we're hungry. While some people may be able to stay on their health regime, most of us tend to rely on yummy food to get us through the pain of exams.

However, not feeding and fuelling your body with the right vitamins and nutrients can mean a slow functioning brain, a weak immune system, and low energy. While these results are already negative, having them in turn when you are trying to study makes it even harder. By choosing to meal prep during your study break, you can make yourself a supply of healthy easy options to eat when you're hungry next. 

3. Go for a walk 

Another thing we fail to think about during exams is keeping our body energized through movement and exercise. While the gym may not be your top priority during exam season, getting a little bit of movement during the day should be! Taking a productive study break could mean doing some yoga in your room, going for a run, or even just doing a few laps of the library. Getting your body moving releases endorphins that keep your stress levels down, your energy up, and leaves you feeling recharged so you can go back to being a productive studier. 

4. Clean your room 

No one has ever liked cleaning their room before, and you probably still don't love to do it now. Most of us don't have our parents telling us to clean up our rooms every week, and as such, they're probably very, very, dirty. So how can you be productive on your next study break? Clean your space!

Having an environment that is clean and peaceful actually allows you to focus more and therefore study better. Wipe down your furniture, put away your laundry, and crack open a window.  You owe it to yourself to take care of you, and cleaning up your room could be the first step!

5. Organize your notes 

While some people may be on top of their study game, the rest of us are probably slacking a little bit.  If you want to drive a little bit of productivity into your next study break, organize those notes! Allowing yourself the time to sort and review the notes you've made all year will allow the information to soak in, and make your notes make sense. Taking ten or twenty minutes to organize your notes is a mindless yet productive way to stay on track.

6. Tidy up a common space 

In turn with keeping your room tidy and clean, keeping common spaces wiped down and organized is equally as important! It's easy to make yourself a snack and leave the dishes behind and let them pile up for days on end. After a few days of slacking off in the kitchen, you may have more of a mess than you can handle. Taking a few minutes to keep common spaces in your house clean will give you a chance to take a break, keep your housemates happy, and keep yourself on track! 

7. Take a nap 

Last but not least, one of the most productive things you can do might just be to take a nap. While this may appear counter-productive, throughout exam season many students suffer from a lack of sleep. When suffering from sleep deprivation, you lack focus, move slower, and your brain does not absorb the same amount of information as it would when you are properly rested. Taking a quick power nap and sleeping through one full sleep cycle can give you the energy you need to push through and keep studying.

As you push through your final exams and get one step closer to finishing the year, remember to take care of yourself and be productive, even on days you want to sleep! Take care of yourself, your space, and your things this exam season, and keep that stress to a minimum—you're going to kill it!