Calm Me Maybe

A blog dedicated to the eternal pursuit of happiness through all-natural methods of rest and relaxation

Keeping calm during finals week

on December 8, 2013


Finals week is here, and the inevitable end-of-the-semester anxiety is setting in.

Before you panic, keep these in mind.

1. Continue to de-stress

Roger Keener, Ed. D., director of the Center for Student Wellness at St. Bonaventure University, said students should continue their usual stress management regiment.

“I think anytime students are under stress they forget what works,” he said.  “Take some breaks or time away, and breathe.”

2. Create a structured study plan

Plan to focus and work, but also build in break and relaxation times.

“That could include watching a movie, reading a book, exercising or socializing with friends in appropriate ways,” he said. “I think a lot students try to cram and overwork and become exhausted because they don’t get the proper rest and relaxation. That exasperates the stress.”

3. Get your 8 hours at the right time

The recommended eight hours of sleep still applies during finals week, and students should plan for it, Keener said.

“Studies show that the best hours of sleep come before 12 a.m.,” he said.  “It is really about setting up an effective program that is going to work for you.”

4. Rest up before hitting the hay

Keener said a relaxation period before going to sleep is especially important, lasting for at least an hour.

“When students study up until going to sleep, they are wound up because they haven’t had any downtime,” he said. “I always stress that rest is valuable to sleep.  It is the precursor to sleep.”

5. Take care of yourself

Considering self-care is also important, especially for students dealing with a mental or physical illness.

“Students need to take care of themselves in general with the proper rest and medication, just like they would if they had a cold.”

6. Make a gratitude list

“Students get stressed over things they haven’t accomplished yet. Make a list in your mind of what went well,” Keener said. “Don’t think about what you have to do to tomorrow, but how good you feel now.  Be in the present moment.”

7. Plan for meals

Keener advises students not to skip meals but to plan for them instead.

“Eat healthy foods as much as possible and structure eating into your schedule,” he said. “Watch what you are putting in your body in terms of stimulants, like caffeine and sugar.”

8. Stay active

Rob DeFazio, director of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership at St. Bonaventure offered quick exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own bedroom or study space.

“Sit on the floor and reach for your toes, with either your legs together or apart. This will help stretch the hamstrings and the lower back which could tighten from sitting too long,” he said. “Push-ups are also good as they will help get the blood flowing throughout the body and help to wake your muscles up.”

Also, consider taking a short walk with a friend to get your mind off of things during study breaks.

9. Stay positive

Confidence is key when it comes to succeeding.  Your work will reflect your optimism.

Keep calm, carry on, and good luck!



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