Auburn Family

Beat the Burnout: 6 Ways to Cope with Stress from Finals

With the end of the semester just around the corner, it also means that the most stressful time of the year for students is quickly approaching--finals week. Parking at the library becomes nonexistent and it becomes harder to find a seat in your usually half-empty economics class as students shift into crunch-time in order to ensure the success of their GPAs. Before you start pulling all-nighters to study or panicking about every possible worst-case scenario, read these tips on how to keep stress at a minimum during finals week:

1. Exercise.

Going to the gym is probably the last thing on your mind with all of the deadlines and study guides weighing on your mind, but exercise may be one of the best stress relievers around. Studies have shown that being active causes the brain to release endorphines, which make you feel good and improve your mood.Auburn has several areas around the community perfect for jogging, and students also have free access with their TigerCard to the Rec and Wellness Center on campus. (Photo: Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center)

"I always make sure I take time away from studying to go to the gym," says Katie Wood, an Auburn University senior. "Working out is a great way to relieve stress because it helps me take my mind off studying for a while."

2. Eat a nutritious breakfast.

Arguably the most important meal of the day, breakfast is important because it gets your mind going and helps you stay focused and alert. Even if you are in a rush to start studying or in a hurry to get to class, do not skip breakfast just to save time. That way, hunger pains are one less thing you have to worry about. 

3. Get some sleep.

Even though you may feel that spending an entire night in Auburn's RBD looking over your study guides will give you a better chance at passing your finals, the reality is that sleep is going to do you more good than pulling an all nighter. Sleep is a great way to give your mind a break and recharge your brain. When you get enough sleep, you will avoid mental and physical fatigue, and it will be easier to retain information.

4. Take breaks.

Make sure to take time out of every day to do something you enjoy. Even if yo u feel like you don't have time, spending an hour doing your favorite hobby is not going to set you back in the grand scheme of things. If anything, it will give you time to clear your mind, relax, and regroup. (Photo: Auburn students take a break to hang out in their hammock next to Samford Hall.)

5. Find study partners.

Find people in your class that working towards the same goals you are. If you can find just one other person who is in the same situation as you are, it will provide for emotional support and boost your confidence. Other people from your class are understanding because they are going through the same things you are. This sense of camaraderie allows you to work and cope together as a team. They may even help you understand the material better, and vice versa. (Photo: Auburn's Ralph Brown Draughton library (below) is filled with people studying together during finals week.)

6. Take it one day at a time.

Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking about everything you have to do by the end of the semester all at once. When you wake up in the morning, make attainable daily goals and to-do lists. That way, you will feel more accomplished after completing them instead of feeling like you are behind.

Maxie Hammock, an Auburn University sophomore, says this is the best way for her to remain stress-free during finals. "I like to set goals for myself every day," Hammock says. "If I start worrying about all of my finals at the same time, then I begin spending more time panicking than I do studying. When I focus on the daily goals I set for myself, I myself relaxed and better prepared for my finals."

How do you de-stress from finals? Tell us in the comments below!

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