The pile-up of papers and exhaustion of exams that come with mid-terms can get any one of us feeling worried, anxious, and wanting to stress-eat all the bags of chips. Take from these tips for reducing stress and inducing self-love during exam season if you’ve been feeling down. Our health and happiness should always be our first priority!
- Do more of what brings you happiness. Whether that be taking time to read something for fun, dropping into a yoga class, going to a gallery, or spending an evening aimlessly wandering the endless shelves of Powell’s, if it makes you happy, it’ll help keep you motivated to do all the things that might not be as happy – like mid-terms.
- Take time to go outside – yes, it may be rainy and cold, but regardless of that, the fresh air, the green plants, and the wild sounds of the birds and squirrels are immensely grounding and rejuvenating. Even a short walk can be very refreshing and inspiring, as it gets your body moving and allows your mind to rest for a moment.
- Breathe! Meditate. Meditation can be much more than just sitting doing nothing with your eyes closed (although that is one good way to do it). Just let yourself zone out while you listen to music, play music, write, draw, paint, dance, or walk. Focus on your breath, listen to how it sounds, feel how it feels.
- Organize your priorities and create tentative schedules for your days. Yes, you should allow yourself all the time your mind and body requires for whatever type of self care benefits you best, but you should also probably make sure you’re prepared for your exams and turning in all your papers on time without feeling rushed. Create a list of what’s most important for you to do and get done, and schedule it out – but don’t be so strict on your schedule that you miss out on a spontaneous coffee date with a friend or a random revitalizing afternoon nap!
- Focus on one task at a time. If you’re writing a paper, sit down with your notes and coffee and just write. If you’re studying for an exam, sit down with your notes and coffee and just study. If you’re taking time for self care, like meditating or exercising or taking a long shower or bath, just do that, and don’t think about the next thing on your to-do list.
- Put your phone on airplane mode or just turn it off. Throw it in your bag or in your drawer. You can check it later. Focusing on yourself and your goals and the always-moving world around you is so much more important, fulfilling, and interesting than getting distracted by every little thing on your phone.
- Journal or free-write to get out extra thoughts and worries. Just write it out. You can rip it up and throw it away after, or save it for future reference or inspiration.
- Shower yourself in positive affirmations! You can do this. You are enough. You got this!