Whether you have midterms before, after or during reading week, it’s that time of the year where everything starts to pile up, and the mountain of readings, tests and assignments can seem impossible to climb. A little stress is beneficial to keep you productive and motivated, however, too much can leave you paralyzed and feeling powerless, not knowing where to start. Here are some ways to prevent and relieve some of that excess stress.
This easy timing technique can help you improve your focus, and minimize exhaustion with practice. Simply time 25 minutes of distraction-free work (turn off or leave that phone in another room), then alot yourself a five minute break. Repeat this cycle.
2) Breathing technique
An easy, relaxing breathing technique is the 4-7-8 method. It consists of inhaling through your nose of four seconds, holding it for seven seconds and forcefully blowing out your mouth for eight seconds. Doing as little as five cycles of this a day or whenever you feel yourself getting worked up has shown to lower your blood pressure, lower your heart rate and diminish stress overall.
3) Munch on some healthy snacks
A binge of fatty, processed, sugar-filled foods might seem appealing when feeling stress or trying to get through a particularly tough study session, but ultimately lead to a delayed mental crash. So, instead, try snacking on some healthier options like frozen grapes.
4) Have a dance party
Put on some upbeat music, jump around and jam out. Simply jumping and shaking your arms around helps release endorphins and “happy hormones”, reducing stress and keeps you awake. This goes for any mild to moderate exercise.
5) Chew gum
Studies suggest that chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels, which is the main chemical component of stress. Beyond that, studies have shown that chewing the same flavour of gum during a test as when you were studying will increase retention of the material.
6) Life chats
After hours of being isolated, studying hard can become overwhelming and you may start to feel like your brain is so full it’s ready to explode. In the end, all you’ll be accomplishing is a mental block. Instead, have a conversation with your friend or a study buddy. Take about your day, talks sports or gossip about celebrities. Just have a fun conversation to relax and forget about the stress of school.
7) Clean up
Whether your room or your desk, having an organized working area helps your mind feel less cluttered. It might seem boring and an excuse to procrastinate doing those readings, but it helps you feel productive and can get your mind off school.
8) Have a laugh
Browse Facebook or look on YouTube and find some funny clips and get those abs working. Laughter relaxes the whole body, relieves physical tension and stress, as well as boosting your overall mood.