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20 ways to relax before, during and after Finals Week

By Emi Ambory and Emi Ambory in Multimedia - featured

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With finals week approaching and another semester until summer break, it’s important to manage your stress and habits to ensure that you produce the best work possible. Every year, various clubs and organizations of Fairview arrange school-wide activities to remedy the stress of finals week. On December 13th the National Honor Society orchestrates “Cocoa and Cram,” a night of studying and sugary treats in the library. Two days later, on Fairview’s “Wellness Day,” Sources of Strength invites students to decorate cookies, visit puppies in the counseling office and enjoy many other surprises. On the same day, the Fairview Société d'Honneur Française screens holiday movies in the library’s viewing room. In order to relieve stress at home, try these 20 tried and true methods:

  1. Get active! Working out, even for a brief period of time, is a great way to metabolize the stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state. After a final, walk or run the serene Shanahan Trail to clear your mind and refresh yourself for the next test.

  2. Listen to music! Pop in some earbuds and let the song take you away. Spotify has some great playlists for finals week! Whether you study better to acoustic or electronic, try “Mellow Beats,” “Focus,” and “Study Time Starts Now.”

  3. Study with your friends! For some people, being surrounded by friends can really distract from the pressure and positively encourage them to study. Stop by “Cocoa and Cram” night to socialize in a productive atmosphere and have the opportunity to ask for help or the opinion of your peers.

  4. Stop multitasking! Studying is hard, but it’s nearly impossible with the distracting noises of your ringtone or the new show you're binge-watching on Netflix. Focus your attention on one thing at a time.

  5. Try the Naam Yoga Hand Trick! According Business Insider, this is one of the many Eastern medicine remedies that can help relieve stress. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the space between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. This creates a sense of immediate relaxation by activating a nerve that loosens the area around your heart.

  6. Take a nap! This sounds counterintuitive, but when you’re well rested you’re focused, so your study time will be more effective and efficient.

  7. Pet a dog! During Sources of Strength’s “Wellness Day” on December 15, you can stop by the counselor's office and cuddle an inherently and eternally positive puppy.

  8. Watch funny videos on Youtube! Although your focus should be on finals, when you’re feeling burnt out, take a 5-10 minute study break and watch Rip Vine compilations to laugh away your anxiety and revive yourself.

  9. Let it out! We suppress a lot of our negative emotions in an effort to feel in control. Letting yourself recognize your feelings and cry it out.

  10. Practice mindfulness! Mindfulness is the practice of slowing your body and mind, either through meditation or yoga. Whether it’s a minute of slow breathing, or yoga in the mat room during your off period, mindfulness will calm down your body and mind, which certainly helps with stress.

  11. Break out the colored pencils! Coloring is an outlet for emotional exploration and the time and focus that it takes can distract you from your stress and refocuses it on something productive.

  12. Take control! If you feel like there’s just too much to remember, organize your thoughts in a to-do list and prioritize.

  13. Put down the coffee! Whilst giving you a temporary boost, caffeine injects adrenaline into your system and increases levels of stress hormones. Instead, try some herbal tea.

  14. Go bake something! According to the Fifth Sense, your sense of smell is directly linked to the emotional center of the brain, so in addition to stimulating your hands and mind, the smell of freshly baked cookies will put a smile on your face.

  15. Learn to say no! If you’re stressed about what you already have, don’t take on new activities. The more you take on, the lower quality work you produce.

  16. Hug your friend! Hugging increases serotonin levels, which is linked to happiness and releases oxytocin, lowering stress hormones.

  17. Ask for help! While studying you’ll come across problems you can’t solve, and it will induce your anxiety and hinder your confidence. But sometimes all that’s needed is another perspective! Either ask a friend or stop by the SAC in between finals, and someone will be happy to help.

  18. Chew gum! It stimulates the senses by involving smell, taste and touch, and therefore increases alertness and improves your mood.

  19. Go for a swim! Walk down the hill to the Rec Center and swim a few laps. Moving in water allows oxygen to flow to your muscles which consequently regulates your breathing and helps you calm down.

  20. Put things in perspective! Just take a deep breath and realize that you need to prioritize your well-being, not a few tests.

 

With these stress-reducing tips and a positive attitude, finals week will be over before you know it! However, with a semester to go, remember to prioritize mental health and make time to manage your stress and workload to ensure the best results possible!

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