Managing Stress during Finals Week

Studying in higher education is never a walk in the park unless you’re walking at THE Jurassic Park. As funny as this saying may sound but it is often true to most college students. Deadlines and activities here and there then, more research papers to defend. While everyone is trying to get through the semester for about 4-5 months, the true test of faith, patience, hard work, and physical and mental health always comes during the Finals – an entire week or two of trying to save oneself from failing a subject or couple of it. A hundred-fold more difficult to get by than a normal week in school. The writer may seem to exaggerate in that part but you know for yourself that you’re now nodding in agreement, too.

It may seem like the stress we experience every finals week is somehow, unavoidable. However, we can do something to manage it if it is indeed unavoidable. Here are some tips on how to better deal with the stress you feel during finals week:

Disclaimer: Reading the items may seem like it wouldn’t help much and are impossible to do while dealing with a lot of workloads, but this list is surely helpful and there’s no pain in at least trying a thing or two.

Get Active and Make Time to Exercise

Exercising is a natural antidepressant which also helps release endorphins which promote positive mood, increases focus, and helps reduce stress. It can also help you improve your memory and sleep. Simply pick an activity you enjoy and do it for at least 20 minutes daily. Exercises like walking may give you time to rethink of ideas which may be helpful with your academic endeavors during finals.

Make Meals a Priority

Make sure you don’t skip meals and to eat the right kinds of food. Increasing evidence suggests that eating can affect your mood because the gut and brain is connected. Limit sugar intake and try to eat a balanced diet for each of your meal.

Relax and Get Enough Sleep

Find a time for yourself. Do the things that make you happy and at peace even in a short while. You deserve rest in between a busy month or week. Go outside and spend some time to get fresh air and take your time. Pause. This will help you re-organize your thoughts and process information better.

Being sleep deprived increases stress and may trigger other symptoms that affect our mental health. Which is why even if it is hard to do when you’re trying to finish multiple tasks in a limited amount of time, but enough sleep will surely help you a lot.

Focus on your Goals and Manage your Time Well

When finals is approaching, it is surely overwhelming to see a list of things to do in a time limit. This in turn increases your stress levels and will lead you to being unproductive. You may also opt to use productivity apps to support you in time management. In TLRC, we have introduced a few ways on how you could manage your time according to your preferences and needs. You may visit and read these articles:

Try to Unplug from Social Media

Nowadays, social media usage is an easy distraction to our productivity. You might assume this as a quick break from all the activities but let’s admit it that as we scroll through our screens, we tend to forget about the time passing and a waste of time means a possibility of not completing an activity which can result to stress and cramming. Additionally, a Civic Science study found that social media users are 14% more likely than non-users to characterize their lives as “somewhat stressful”.

Stay Connected with Friends, Talk to Someone, or Get Support from a Professional

Your mental health is more important than a high grade. If you feel so stressed about the finals, stop and talk to somebody or a friend. You need a good support system that can help you get by and it’s good to have people around you who you can relate to and talk to. You are not alone. If it comes to a point that you will be needing professional help, do not hesitate to contact mental health organizations in your area or guidance service specialists from your school.

And the most important and easiest tip to get by a hectic finals week: Remember what comes after finals: VACATION!

With the right mindset and people, you will surely feel less anxious in getting through the finals. Share us your finals week experiences and how you were able to get through them at the comments below!