By Bekah & Karly, Wellness Coaches
Finals week is just around the corner. We asked our wellness coaches about self-care and prioritizing wellness during this stressful time:
A lot of us are feeling burnt out at this point in the semester. What helpful self-care tips do you have for students as they move towards the end of the semester?
- Bekah: In the immortal words of Shia LeBeouf, JUST DO IT. Please take time to take care of yourself. Go on a walk, get yourself some snacks, do something that makes you happy. If you don’t know what to do start by writing a list of activities that make you happy or help you de-stress. Refer to that list of activities and do at least one of the activities a day. Doing this builds a regular practice of self-care that is tailored to you.
- Karly: Trying to find a balance. With finals approaching it is important to get studying in, but also prioritize time each day to do something you enjoy. Whether that’s going for a walk, watching a show on Netflix, or going to lunch with a friend, as long as it’s something for you, that can help lessen the burn out feelings.
What’s your take on all-nighters? Should we be sleeping more, or cramming in as much studying as possible until our final exams? Why?
- Bekah: I love sleep so much, so personally an all-nighter sounds awful! But when it comes to finals I have to say, DON’T DO IT! I know it is tempting and you may not feel like you have other options, but please for the love of all that is good in the world get your sleep. You’ll be less stressed, have a better attitude, and you’ll remember more. If little anxiety monsters are dancing around in your head and you can’t fall asleep don’t try and study, you’ll wake your mind up and either never be able to fall asleep or you’ll be even more exhausted in the morning. Instead, get out of bed, get yourself a drink of water and read or listen to something that helps you relax. You will be more alert and ready for finals that way.
- Karly: Personally, I do not support all-nighters. While it may provide a few extra hours of studying, you will be deprived of sleep and the likelihood of retaining the information you crammed is low. Our bodies need sleep to function, even if you think you don’t need it. Try to prioritize a few hours during the day to study and then allow yourself time to sleep. You will wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to study some more.
Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally can be difficult on any given day. How can we prioritize our wellness when we’re short on time, especially during finals week?
- Bekah: Start by taking 5 minutes for yourself. Get up and move for 5 minutes and notice how much better you feel or take 5 minutes to make your bed. Doing these little things really doesn’t take that much time away as we study for finals, but they can make a world of difference. When this is all over and you’ve taken your last test or submitted your final paper take a moment to throw your fist in the air, dance, or kiss a stranger (jk, don't do without consent). But you made it through finals, and whether this is your first, last, or somewhere in the middle you did it! Recommit to healthy habits because the excuse of “I have to study” is finally gone.
- Karly: A good way to try to fit it in and prioritize taking care of yourself is to sprinkle it in throughout the day. Taking 5-10 minutes here and there can help with the time crunch but allow you to stay on track. Take a 10-minute break to go for a walk, schedule 30 minutes to go to the gym or write in a journal. Whatever that self-care looks like for you, try to spread it out throughout the day/week and it may feel less daunting!