Top 10 ways to relieve stress during (and after) finals week


De-stress with meditation (Photo by lululemon athletica)

Maybe you are in finals week right now and totally stressed out. Perhaps your final exams are quickly approaching and you are overly anxious about these tests. Or, you may be completely finished with this term, but you still feel stressed about how you did on your exams. Well, stop worrying! Instead, follow these top 10 tips and learn new ways to relieve stress during and after finals week.

  1. Cut down on caffeine

    Coffees, sodas and energy drinks all contain a large amount of caffeine, and if you are relying on them to help keep you up during your cram sessions, then you may be doing more harm than good. In fact, an overabundance of caffeine can cause mood swings, stress, lack of sleep and a jittery feeling. So take it easy and limit those lattes! To find out more about the harmful effects of caffeine, check out a post by Georgie Flynn for the Duquesne Duke from November 29, 2012, “Energy now, no crash later? 5-hour energy, caffeine supplements can cause health issues, fatality.”

  2. Get moving

    Go for a jog, take an aerobics class (one that really gets you moving, like Zumba), do yoga or grab a quick game of basketball with your best buds. Just take a few minutes to step away from the books and focus on something other than physics for an hour or so.

  3. Laugh, it’s the best medicine

    Yes, it is finals week and your time is precious, but taking some time to laugh might be just what you need. Grab a quick flick at the local theater or put in your favorite comedy. And don’t forget the popcorn!

  4. Meditate

    Learning to clear your mind and focus on breathing can do wonders for stress. All you need is a quiet space (or headphones and some relaxing music if this isn’t an option). Don’t know how to meditate? No problem, an article by Connie Glasheen posted to on August 13, 2012, “Learning to de – stress with meditation,” will break it down for you.

  5. Catch some Zs

    Sleep is a luxury most college students can’t afford, so get it whenever you can. Grab a quick nap between classes or allow yourself to doze off a little every time you switch your study topic. You’ll be amazed at the results.

  6. Find an aggression outlet

    Aggression and stress are best buds. Instead of giving in to either, find an outlet. A pillow fight, kickboxing class, bout with a punching bag at the gym or even a video game where you get to kick some butt can make you feel better.

  7. Eat healthy

    It is easier and more convenient to order that large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, but your mind and your waistline will not thank you for it. Instead, focus on eating healthy whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables. These will help you battle fatigue and keep your mind sharp as you cram all that new information up there. Need some help with your habits? offers “10 Tips for Healthy Eating During Exams,” posted by Jessica Howard.

  8. Catch up with family and friends

    Pick up the phone and call your mom, dad or your old roommate (you know, the one you actually got along with last year), and play catch up for half an hour. The only rule is that anything to do with college is completely off limits!

  9. Read Facebook, tweet on Twitter

    Normally, checking email or updating your status while studying is a no-no! However, taking some time out to fill your mind with something other than knowledge can be a great way to reduce stress. Just remember to unplug again when you are ready to hit the books.

  10. Treat yourself

    Go out for a lavish meal or take a trip to the spa for a massage, whatever your guilty pleasure is. You’ve been working hard and you deserve it!

Remember not to put an unhealthy amount of stress on yourself over finals. If they’re just around the corner, work hard to ensure you’ve got a firm grasp on the material without driving yourself mad studying at all hours and not taking well-deserved breaks. And if your finals are over, take comfort in knowing that you did your very best!

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