Finals week is quickly approaching, but there are ways to reduce the stress that builds up during this time, and you can actually increase your energy! Increased energy will help you power through study sessions as you prepare for exams, presentations and final papers. Here are some tips you can follow to help you get off on the right path for a successful finals week experience.finals_week

  1. Get Some Sleep! Sleep is the best way to increase your energy and maintain your mood during this stressful time. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.  This will form great sleep habits for those last two weeks of the semester, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day! Power naps are also beneficial.  If you feel groggy while studying or you’re not retaining information, take a quick nap.  The key is to sleep for 30 minutes or less so you don’t compound your grogginess.
  1. Exercise. By doing as little as 20 minutes of cardio per day you will increase your energy, reduce stress, improve your memory, and you’ll have a better outlook on life.  Stepping away from the studies for an hour or so will allow your brain time to rest and focus on something other than finals!
  1. Eat Healthily. Begin each day with some fuel for your brain – DON’T skip breakfast!  If you’re not much of an eggs/toast person, grab a quick bite such as yogurt, fruit or a granola bar to kick-start your day. Late night pizza orders, sweets, and soda may seem like the right “fix,” but studies show that students who have a balanced diet perform better on their exams.  Protein, healthy carbs, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all great foods to help keep your mind sharp and fight off fatigue.
  1. Drink Plenty of Water. Lack of water can leave you feeling drained and dehydrated.  We all want to reach for the caffeinated sodas or coffee, and those are alright from time to time, but keep a water bottle with you at all times – and drink it!  Water is great for your body and skin and will help you feel more energized.
  1. Strategize. Don’t leave all of your studying until the last minute! The more you prepare ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be when it’s crunch time! Create a study schedule or calendar, noting due dates of projects/papers and dates/times of final exams. Next, prioritize what needs attention each day and get projects or papers done in advance.  The more you get completed and crossed off of your calendar, the less overwhelmed you will feel.  Meet with instructors to ask questions ahead of time, form study groups, and manage your time wisely!
  1. Disconnect! I know it’s the end of the school year and you may not see some of your friends over the summer, but now is not the time to socialize each night.  Instead, set a lunch date or study break with your friends to catch up. Also, stay off of social media while you’re studying.  All of those tweets, posts, and texts will be there when you’re done. Shut your phone off or place it out of sight so you’re not tempted to look at it.

The more you prepare ahead of time, the less stress you will put on yourself during finals week.   Give it all you’ve got and take comfort in knowing that you did your best!  Good Luck and enjoy your summer break!