In the next week as we near the end of the semester, many students may begin to feel overly stressed. From getting last-minute assignments done to staying up late to study for exams, it is crucial to stay mentally healthy in these times. In order to stay healthy and make it through the next few weeks, here are a few tips to get people started, from the suggestions of Kimberly Campbell, a staff member at SNU’s Renew center:
- Map out a reasonable plan for studying. Reasonable means that you include breaks. Research shows that if you work for 50 min increments, giving yourself 5-10 min for movement (take a brisk walk outdoors, go and grab yourself some water and stretch, say a quick hello to a neighbor, walk up and down the stairs), you will be able to more effectively stay engaged in your work.
- Give yourself rewards-make some plans now for intentional fun after completing a huge assignment or final. Schedule coffee or dinner with a friend in your covid circle, play some frisbee golf with some friends, go for a run or watch a time-limited movie. Avoid a Netflix binge; save that for Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday.
- Avoid avoiding-sometimes when we have a large list of things to accomplish it feels easier to avoid it altogether. Instead, break it down into smaller parts and accomplish one task at a time. This practice helps to motivate us because as we complete one task, we know we can do the next.
- Practice good self-care!
- SLEEP is not to be underrated. In fact, many studies have proven that you are better off to get a good night’s sleep than to pull an all-nighter.
- NUTRITION is key. Fuel your body with healthy snacks and avoid sugar and large amounts of caffeine.
- MOVEMENT will enable you to get the mental break you need and reenergize you. This can be a brisk walk, a run, or yoga-whatever works for you.
- Get support if needed. There are so many staff and faculty members that care about you. Reach out if you need guidance, encouragement, or someone to pray for you. Talk with friends, and you will find that you aren’t alone. However, avoid too much “stress” talk, listing all the ways in which you are stressed out, maybe even comparing, this isn’t helpful. Instead, problem solve, work together, encourage each other. This has been a tough year, and you are staring at the finish line. You WILL make it!
Anah Rackley, a junior at SNU, says “for me the most important thing is a full night of sleep. I work hard to accomplish what I need to do in the afternoons and early evenings in order to be asleep by 10. I notice a significant difference in my ability to perform when I prioritize this practice.”
In these troubling times, it is vital for all of us to keep up our mental health, especially with upcoming finals. These are a few tips to utilize to help you get through these rough and stressful times. With the end of the semester drawing near, finishing with great academics and mental health is the goal.