By NOELLE PAOLICELLI
The weeks leading up to finals are a very stressful time period for many college students. You might be tempted to overindulge in activities as a way of escaping the stress of studying for finals, or writing the paper you have been procrastinating on all semester.
In reality, overindulging can often cause more harm than good. Anything done in an extreme way, such as drinking insane amounts of coffee and pulling all-nighters, is likely to add more to your stress load in the long run. Limiting your stress level is vital if you want to finish the semester strong. Here are several options that will help you stay calmer and conquer these last few weeks. Step away from the box of cookies.
Exercise is both a great way to keep in shape and helping to reduce stress hormones. A walk around the block or an intense cardio workout helps release endorphins. Here at UMW, the Campus Recreation team hosts a wide variety of group fitness classes in the Goolrick Hall dance studios. Sign up and get your sweat on.
Listen to music
Research has shown that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. Alternatively, listening to more upbeat music can help to invigorate you.
Take a hot bath
This might be a little bit difficult if you live in a residence hall. If you do have access to a bathtub, lucky you. To up the overall bathing experience sprinkle in a handful of Epsom salts, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and a half-cup of baking soda. This combination draws out toxins, lowers stress related hormones and balances your pH level.
Water is detoxing on its own, but add squeeze of lime, a dash of mint and some fruit and you’re ready to go. A personal favorite detox water of mine contains lime, fresh mint and strawberries. Limes are natural energizers and kick starts your metabolism. This helps to reduce stress. Fresh mint helps your digestive system to function more adequately. Strawberries add an amazing, sweet flavor to the water.
Taking time for one ’s self is very important. Setting up a reward system helps you stay motivated to accomplish the task at hand. Take a walk over to Sweet Frog or Sugar Shack with a group of friends or reward yourself with watching your favorite TV show or movie!
Hang out with friends
Hanging out with friends is always a good way to take a study break.
Friends will be there for you when you need a listening ear or someone to boost your mood. Laughter is very therapeutic; it decreases stress levels and releases endorphins, which boost happiness.
Organize your space
Organizing your living space can help reduce clutter and keep you focused and less stressed. It is important to take some time to put everything where it belongs. It is amazing how you feel when you come home from a long day of studying to a clutter-free room.