Stress relief tips for finals season


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Claire Schuppel discusses some stress relief strategies for this upcoming finals season.

Claire Schuppel, Arts & Life Editor

Summer break is approaching rapidly, but students have one obstacle standing in the way of the needed time off: finals season. With finals comes added stress; finding ways to manage that stress is vital for succeeding during that difficult week. Here are a few different techniques to handle any nerves coming up:


Meditation is a relaxation technique that helps to manage stress, not necessarily removing it entirely. It involves creating a quiet environment for yourself to sit, breathe and allow yourself to take a break from thinking about stressors in your life. Headspace offers resources discussing why meditation is a great way to relieve stress, along with some exercises that are meant to help with guidance. While mastery of meditation can take months or years, beginner-level exercises can still relieve stress. 


We all hear time and time again that exercise is an effective way to help relieve stress, but its effects are profound. Not only are you getting yourself into shape and helping the various systems in your body strengthen, but the Mayo Clinic described exercise as “meditation in motion.” Focus is redirected to the movement of the body, helping to take time off from stressful thoughts. John Carroll’s fitness center offers equipment and University Heights has perfect weather for long walks. 

Enforce a sleep schedule

The importance of a sleep routine is only heightened during stressful periods; finals is the perfect time to force yourself to get to bed around the same time every night. The United States Department of Health and Human Resources has a website where information about sleep is provided, including its benefits. The risk of potential health problems is lowered, good decisions are made more often, a clear mind is provided and stress is reduced by getting enough sleep. Stride for seven or more hours of sleep a night – it will make a difference. 

Make time for breaks and socializing

While taking excessive breaks during study or work time can hurt productivity, making sure to effectively break up the work flow is beneficial. Cornell Health has a post about purposeful breaks, mentioning organizing, taking quick naps, listening to music or practicing deep breathing exercises. Socializing is also a good way to make the most of breaktime, with the Mayo Clinic reporting, “Socializing not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but also it helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being and may even help you live longer.” 

Socializing and sharing positive words can help in stress relief. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Say words of affirmation

Having a positive mindset while doing difficult work is as crucial as all the previously listed methods of stress relief; using words of affirmation and encouragement for yourself is a productive way to help change mindsets. Very Well Mind has listed some affirmation prompts to use in anxious or stressful moments, but tailoring statements to fit individual needs is just as effective. Either saying the phrases out loud or writing them down can be helpful in creating a positive disposition for productivity.

Managing stress during finals is a daunting task, but finding strategies that work best for your needs will help ease the difficulties ahead. Spend some time preparing techniques that work best for you, your learning and the final workload of the 2021-2022 school year.