As finals week approaches, the Wheaton Wire encourages you to take some time for yourself. Giving your brain a rest is just as important as your studies. Here are some tips for practicing self-care during a most likely stressful week.
Tip #1: Get some sleep!
Unfortunately, staying up until 3 AM studying at the library for an exam will not help you in securing an A (not that I would know from personal experience of course). It’s important to get around 7-9 hours of sleep every night to function at your best.
Tip #2: Move your body!
Getting some exercise is great for clearing your mind after studying for long periods of time. It can be whatever exercise you like best: going for a walk, working out at the gym, or going for a bike ride. Remember that your physical wellness is just as important as your mental wellbeing!
Tip #3: Fuel your body!
There is no final exam or project that is worth skipping food for! Remember to fuel your body with nutritious meals and snacks during the week. Eating the right amount of healthy food will keep you energized and able to function at your best, although some Takis won’t hurt too.
Tip #4: Stay hydrated!
No, that iced coffee from Starbucks shouldn’t be your only source of hydration during the day. Water is even more important than caffeine, especially during this week. Carry a water bottle around with you that you can refill throughout the day!
Tip #5: Plan ahead!
Take care of your future self by making sure that you are prepared for your final exams and projects. Try using Google Calendar or to-do lists to stay organized. Find whatever system works best for you so that you can avoid feeling rushed or stressed out as deadlines come up!
Tip #6: Learn to say ‘no’!
Your boss may ask you to pick up an extra shift, or your friends might ask you to hang out with them during this week. If you know that staying in would be the best decision for you, don’t be afraid to say no! Setting boundaries is important in maintaining your mental health.
Tip #7: Treat yourself!
If buying an expensive latte or getting a sweet treat would lift your spirits, now is the time to treat yourself (I know I will)! It’s important to find happiness in the little things during stressful times.
Tip #8: Be gentle with yourself!
Finals, school, and any other commitments you may have can bring up some extreme emotions. It is completely normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or burned out during this time. Be gentle with yourself and remember that taking care of your mental health doesn’t make you lazy or fragile!
Tip #9: Take brain breaks!
Tackling large tasks can feel more manageable if you approach them in parts! Many people swear by the Pomodoro Technique; where you pick a task to work on for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute brain break, and repeat. Every 4 repeats, take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes. This technique makes it easy to get started, avoid distractions, and manage your time efficiently!
Tip #10: Turn to your support systems!
If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions and assignments, make sure that you rely on your support systems this week, such as friends and family. The Counseling Center is also available to provide in-person and online support. It is located here on campus, is confidential, and free!
We hope that these tips and tricks will help you practice self care as we all navigate this stressful time together. Best of luck, and see you next year!