5 tips for navigating finals week

Shelby Adkins, Reporter

The stress of finals week can sneak up on college students. As the semester draws to a close, thoughts of summer crowd out everything else, and then – bam – finals week hits like a ton of bricks. Students often feel stressed out and wonder where to start. Here are five ways to reduce stress and be successful studying and testing.

Drink lots of water.

Dehydration can worsen stress. According to Healthline, a health information website, being dehydrated can raise the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body. Although drinking water will not solve every problem, staying hydrated can lead to success.

Take a walk.

If someone has been sitting for multiple hours while cramming for an exam, there’s a good chance their legs are asleep, and the rest of their body will soon to follow. The National Institute of Mental Health says that walking for 30 minutes per day can help boost mood and reduce stress. Exercise can also improve quality of sleep, which is essential during finals week.

Listen to music.

Lots of people like to unwind by listening to music but may not know it’s a proven stress reliever. According to Healthline, playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure and may reduce cortisol. It also suggests natural sounds like rain or waves as an alternative to music.

Drink green tea.

It is common knowledge that caffeine can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure, can cause jitters and will ultimately result in a crash. So, ditch the coffee when studying and opt for green tea. According to Healthline, green tea has half the caffeine of coffee and contains theanine, which is an anxiety reducer.

Chew gum.

If there’s a lot of studying to do, whether for a comprehensive final or even a chapter test, chew gum while studying and/or testing. In an article published to  New Scientist, a weekly science and technology magazine, it is said that “[UK Psychologists] found that people who chewed throughout tests of both long-term and short-term memory produced significantly better scores than people who did not.”

Finals weeks does not have to completely unravel ones physical or mental health. It is important to take care of oneself when stress levels rise and there are a million ways to do so, each individual just has to find what works best for them.