How students manage stress during finals

16 years ago Comments Off on How students manage stress during finals

Finals are almost here, which means more studying, less sleep and a lot more stress for students. Everyone has their own ways to deal with stress during finals, and some students spoke about what they do to relax and survive the pressures of finals.

Sophomore Katrina Starrick said she does puzzles to take a break from studying and finals stress.

“I find them calm and relaxing,” Starrick said. “I’ll do puzzles for a few hours, and then when I’m tired of doing that, I’ll go study.”

Senior Stephanie Powell said she deals with finals stress by reading books that have nothing to do with school.

“Usually it’s a trashy romance novel,” Powell said. “It’s something completely mindless that I don’t have to think about.”

Senior Rebecca Gates uses the Internet for stress relief. Gates said she does an online crossword puzzle or plays games, like Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit, to take a break from the books.

“I like it because I get a break from studying but I keep my mind active,” Gates said.

Junior Naomi Walsh, said she uses prayer to escape the stress and pressure of finals.

“During my breaks I clear my mind and spend time with God in prayer,” Walsh said. “He’s the best help I’ve found.”

Lindsey Koudelik, who is a graduating senior but will attend graduate school, takes a lot of study breaks to relax during finals. Koudelik said she usually watches TV or goes out to eat with friends, and during her time as a student, she has learned how to better deal with stress.

“I work harder now throughout the entire semester and don’t put things off until the last minute,” she said. “I don’t let myself get overwhelmed by things.”

Some students, like senior Alison Hart, turn to exercise for stress relief.

Hart said whenever she gets stressed out, she runs two miles, along with listening to music, to alleviate stress.

A Web site on stress (stress.about.com) provides a list of simple ideas for controlling stress. Written by Dr. Melissa Stoppler, the Web site may be useful to students during these stressful times. One tip is to drink plenty of water and eat small nutritious snacks because hunger and dehydration can provoke aggressiveness and cause people to have feelings of anxiety and stress.

Other tips include going outside for a break (fresh air is a good relaxer), making sure you use good posture because bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain and increased stress and to breathe slowly and deeply whenever you start to feel stressed. Managing your anger is also important.

Remember to speak slower when you feel overwhelmed by stress (we think more clearly and react better to stressful situations when we do this), and always plan something rewarding for yourself at the end of your stressful day.

So good luck to everyone on finals, and remember to take time for yourself, take care of your bodies, and reward yourselves after you’re done. (A nap sounds like a pretty good reward to me!)