De-stress over finals
As the end of the semester approaches, assignments start to pile up, and the annual “De-Stress” events begin to pop up all over the Mason campus. By now, students are beginning to feel the stress that accompanies the final exam period. However, stress and anxiety don’t have to be hallmarks of the season. Here are a few ways to ease the tension and stress you may be feeling:
o One of the easiest ways to cut down on stress is to make a daily “to-do” list that includes a reasonable amount of tasks to accomplish each day leading up to exam day. Making a list makes you feel in control, and every time you cross something off the list, you will feel a little more accomplished, and slightly less stressed.
(photo courtesy of Creative Commons.)
o Exercise is shown to help boost endorphins, improve one’s mood and help clear one’s mind. If you are not in the mood to go to the gym, take a brisk walk around the Patriot Circle with a friend. As an added bonus, the fresh air and physical activity will help you sleep better.
o A short, self-led meditation session can greatly improve your mood and response to stressors. If it is your first try at meditating, there are numerous guided recordings on iTunes or YouTube you can follow. If meditating is not your thing, try taking a few deep breaths to clear and calm your mind.
o Even though coffee is the lifeblood of over-worked, exhausted college students, caffeine only adds to feelings of stress and anxiety. Skip the cup of coffee, and try brewing a cup of green tea. The antioxidants found in green tea is thought to have a calming effect on the mind
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o It can be tempting to mindlessly snack on a bag of chips while writing a final paper, but the after effects of junk food can leave you feeling just as stressed. Instead of munching on something greasy, try peeling an orange or munching on a handful of nuts. The vitamin C in oranges can reduce stress and give your immune system a boost, while most nuts contain vitamin B, a vitamin that improves brain functions.
o The scent of lavender has a calming effect. Even though candles are not permitted in the dorms, a reed diffuser or lavender scented lotion can be just as effective.
o Distraction – not procrastination – can also relieve some stress. Take a few minutes for yourself: watch your favorite show online, read a chapter of a (fun) book, or bake a batch of cookies. Taking a little break will allow you some time to focus on something fun, and when you revisit your schoolwork, you will be more focused.