Self-Care During Midterm Season: Taking Care of You
When the academic year begins, the weather is nice, the workload seems manageable and the upcoming stress of exams feels so far away. Before long, however, we find ourselves in the midst of midterm season and, suddenly, even the smallest things feel overwhelming.
We understand how intense this time of year can be for students and we’ve come up with some useful tips for self-care.
One of the worst things you can do is psych yourself out. Rather than let your anxiety paralyze you, take inventory of everything that needs to be done in order to be prepared for your exams and create a plan of action. Break up big tasks into smaller, more realistic parts and take it all one step at a time.
Take a few moments every day to step away from your computer, your phone, Facebook, Twitter (and all social media), music and anything else that occupies your time. Start your morning and end your day with 10 minutes of stretching and silence.
Too often, people skip hours of sleep to cram in more studying and, while every person’s body is different, most of us need adequate rest to function properly. Make a commitment to getting a certain amount of sleep every night which will not only keep you feeling mentally refreshed but can also help you avoid getting sick.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
When you’re busy, it’s tempting to just grab whatever convenience food items you can find but, in reality, people on the go need proper nutrition more than anyone. Plan ahead, stock up on healthier snacks and meals and make sure you are drinking enough water (or other non-caffeinated beverages).
Stretch and Exercise
Get your body moving! When you are feeling particularly stressed, take a nice walk or run and just decompress for a few moments. You may also find that yoga can help by stretching out your muscles after being hunched over a desk all day.
Know and respect your own limits. If you feel like you cannot possibly read another page, close the book for a little while. Listen to your body. The same is true for extracurricular activities. If you have studying to do but your friends want to hang out, learning to say no may be your biggest asset.
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