Dear Miss Meghan,
Any tips for getting through the end of the semester stress?
I think the biggest mistake I see students make is not taking care of themselves. Understandably, when we are stressed out and busy the first things to get cut are eating well, exercise, and sleep. Yet those are the exact things that well help us reduce our stress levels. If you take breaks to get a complete meal, go for a run, and aim for 9 hours of sleep, then that huge paper you need to do will take much less time to write because you will have better focus, will be able to think more clearly, and can improve your comprehension of information.
So you say you don’t have 10 hours to spare for sleep, exercise, and food. Fair enough. If you really can’t make the time to do those things, how about you take ten minutes to read a book for pleasure, or journal, or go for a walk. Take a 20 minute nap (not an hour nap) before your big test (sleeping helps your brain retain information). Eat a (healthier) snack, but do it mindfully. Mindful eating is only concentrating on the tastes, textures, smells, and colors of the food. Eat slowly with the laptop shut and the tv and phone off. Bananas are great brain food. Go to calm.com and do a 5 minute guided relaxation.
Self-care in NOT going on facebook or buzzfeed or cracked or reddit or pintrest or twitter for a 20 minute break. It is not listening to your friends complain about how much work they have to do, or taking a break to write aemail. Self-care is not eating Cheetos while watching Toddlers in Tiaras. Or ramen while watching Parks and Recs. Or Snickers while watching 90210. Or, well you get the point. Know the difference between distracting yourself and taking care of yourself.
I wish you all the best of luck on your SMPs, final papers and tests, graduation, jonb searches, summer plans, grad school, or whatever you will be doing for the summer. Wear sunscreen.