Managing Stress During Finals

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It’s officially spring, which means the impending week of doom (you know, the one with all the finals and Regents) is almost among us, not to mention the additional AP exams that some of us will be burdened with. It’s important to be able to manage your stress so you don’t collapse under the pressure.

First and foremost, take regularly scheduled breaks. A little time off will allow you to breathe and break up the studying, which will, in turn, make everything seem much more manageable.

During these breaks, or even while poring over notes, there’s a large chance that the urge to snack will strike. Instead of reaching for junk food (no matter how delicious and convenient), try to eat healthier, because some foods are known to have positive effects on learning and memorization. And while you’re on the healthy route, exercising releases tension and endorphins, which will further alleviate the stress.

Now that your body is taken care of, remember that your state of mind is a huge contributor to possible stress. Staying positive while a seemingly impossible workload looms over you can be difficult if you’re not keeping things in perspective. Working yourself up over the little things isn’t going to help anyone, so next time a test grade turns out to be a disappointment, learn from it and move on. Also, don’t be discouraged by the progress of others. Either use it as motivation to do better or forget what they’re doing and focus on how you can excel.

Keeping a schedule – possibly the simplest tip on here. Time management is imperative, especially when it is too easy to overload yourself with responsibilities. Spread things out to declutter your calendar and de-stress.

Another helpful tip: Separate one big project into several smaller tasks that seem less frightening. Taking things step-by-step helps remove stress from the equation and frees your mind to do more productive things.

If all else fails, try to remember that stress isn’t the worst thing in the world. A moderate amount of it will even help performance. If it gets to be too much, talk it out. Whether it be in person or online (e.g. the Vent app), speaking about problems can help make them seem smaller or, at least, more feasible.

Bonus: Cute pictures of animals and such trigger your brain to release serotonin, which will improve your mood, so enjoy!

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