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7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During Finals

The most stressful time of the year for college students is approaching rapidly (or in full swing): finals week. It’s the point in the semester where it involves nothing but endless amounts of coffee, sleepless nights, and anxiety.

However, you can’t let the stress of passing your finals consume you.

Taking care of yourself is important – especially if you want to pass those final exams. A lot of students tend to sacrifice taking care of themselves for acing that last test. That’s a big mistake on our parts. If we feel our best, we can study and be better prepared for our test.

There are a few ways to take care of yourself during finals week so you can walk into that test feeling confident and walk out knowing you did splendid.

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Keep Up With Normal Self-Care Routines

There are many times during the busy finals season where we forget to do the simple things. There’s a misconception that self-care is some kind of privilege that we just don’t deserve or have time for. We tell ourselves we must study for an exam which counts for a huge chunk of our grade, so everything is just going to have to wait. However, keeping up the basics such as hygiene, physical health, and maintaining our stress levels with walks, a face mask, or chatting with friends, will help you feel better all around.

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Meditating is a great stress reliever which gives your mind a chance to recharge and refocus. It can also help you retain information better because of the fact you are so relaxed. It’s a time where you can escape your problems and just woo-sah.

Eat Nutritious Meals

Eating well-balanced meals nourishes both your body and mind. Therefore, it will help your brain function more effectively because it’s getting the proper nutrients. It will also help you cut junk food out of your diet which isn’t going to keep you full anyway.

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Get Adequate Amounts of Sleep

Sleep is essential during this time. I know a lot of people think it’s okay to pull all-nighters, especially during finals week, but it’s not. It’s important to keep your sleeping pattern the same. If you’re used to going to bed at a specific time, continue to do so. In addition, get some naps in there too as a short recharge for your mind.

Sleep is critical for your memory consolidation while studying. You won’t be able to retain or process as much information if you’re a walking zombie.

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Take Study Breaks

Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel bad for taking a break from your studies. Whether you’re taking a break to check social media or watch a playoff game, make sure you’re finding a balance for yourself. Make your study breaks intentional, even if it’s only for a short period of time during your long study sessions.

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Don’t Panic

Many of us look at the massive amount of material we must cram into our heads and we start to panic. We can’t fathom how we’re going to get all this information in our heads within days of the exam. On top of that, a lot of times we’re studying for more than one final at a time. I know it can be overwhelming, but panicking isn’t doing anything but making you feel worse.

Take a breath and relax. Don’t be intimidated. Everything is going to be okay.

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Be Kind to Yourself

Do something that makes you feel confident instead of increasing your fear of failing an exam. Treat yourself with a reward just because. Remind yourself how smart you are and how far you’ve come. Reassure yourself that it is okay to make mistakes instead of being self-critical.

Do whatever you need to feel refreshed, and then hit those books!

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About Shekera Clarke

My name is Shekera Clarke. I am currently a senior at the University at Albany majoring in journalism with a business minor. I grew up in Queens, NY. QGTM! My goals upon graduating include either writing for a pop culture magazine/blog or work for ESPN because of my love for sports - whether that's behind the scenes or on air.

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