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Staying Sane During Finals Season

I had a quiz and an exam on Monday, two papers and a presentation on Tuesday, and two more quizzes on Wednesday. I'm not sure if I am even halfway done with all of the nonsense that I have to do between now and winter break, but I know for a fact that my sanity is already out the window. As a senior, I know that in the past, stressing over my finals always ends up making me do worse, so I’ve learned the importance of watching out for myself when things get spicy. I want to share some (just 4) ways I'm keeping myself from pulling a 2007 Britney and shaving all of my hair off to hopefully inspire you to take care of yourself during the most wonderful nuts time of the year!

1. Make a list

I am a list person, so I make lists a lot - groceries I need, people I need to email, shows I want to start watching, tea that I need to tell my sister about - but I know from talking to friends and classmates that making a list of major assignments and deadlines is helpful to anyone, whether you share my affinity for lists or not. I tend to make a master deadline list this time of year, with every single assignment (for work or school) listed out in no particular order. I just write them with their due date next to them as they come to me. Once I have them all written down, I put some kind of symbol next to them to indicate priority - a dash if they can wait, a star if they are upcoming, or 7 exclamation points and 3 stars if I should have started them last week. On the one hand, it can be overwhelming to see all of the things you have to do, BUT it gets all the info out of your brain and puts it all into one place that you can reference and check off until you finish it all! You can decide from there if you think a daily list will help you too, but a master list of everything is a great starting point.

2. Do at least one basic thing every day that makes you feel less gross

It’s the most basic tasks that tend to get neglected when you’re stressed out about school. I went to the library a few days ago with a friend of mine, and she told me “I just realized I haven’t showered in 4 days” and man, did I resonate with that. So every day, take some time to change your sheets, do a load of laundry, go grocery shopping (and buy that ice cream you’ve been eyeing, you’ll need it in a few days), take off your makeup & moisturize, close all the tabs you don't need anymore, tidy up your desk, eat breakfast, or take a warm shower. It's the little victories.

3. Limit distractions - phone/social media use

The newest iOS has this handy (yet slightly ego-killing) feature where you can see how long you spend on your phone and specifically on different apps. When I discovered that I was spending several hours a day just on Instagram or Snapchat alone, I was a little shook and decided that might be partly why my grades aren’t as fabulous as they probably could be. So, take a look at those numbers, set a REACHABLE GOAL, and utilize the time limit features to keep you on track! {Android users can download an app for similar capabilities, but I am no expert on that.}

Me when I saw how many hours I spend every day on social media

4. Schedule time to do nothing

This last one is like a more fun version of strategy #2. 2018 has been the year of #selfcare and even though some of the tips you’ve heard might start to sound cliche, it is SO important to take time for yourself when the world around you is going 200mph. Decide on a time every day that you are free and devote that time to yourself. Turn your phone and laptop off and do something enjoyable. This could mean taking a nap, watching a movie, doing some deep breathing, doing a face mask, going for a walk, calling your grandma, reading a book, taking a bubble bath, chatting with your roommate(s), or watching a few episodes of The Office for the 700th time. Try not to let this time go longer than 2-3 hours (but come on my dude, you deserve more than a 10 minute break) so you can get back to work and kill your assignments!

Remember that you've got this and everything is going to be okay! Don't be afraid to reach out to a friend if you need a lunch break or a pep talk. We got you.

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