Spring break is just around the corner, everyone! Exciting, but before reaching the Week of Freedom/Catching Up on Work You Haven’t Done, most of us are probably preparing to leap over the last hurdle: Midterm exams.
During this part of the semester, it’s easy to feel really overwhelmed. You might find yourself doing work at many strange hours of the day, consuming unnaturally colored drinks, telling yourself, “YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING!!”
However, as your caring friend, I am here to tell you that you do not need to do this! In my experience, stressing out never actually increased my productivity and made me tired.
So if you’re ever feeling like you’re going crazy or you’re up late burnin’ the midnight oil, here are some tricks that have personally helped me get through this difficult time:
Take breaks! If you’re studying for hours, I’ve found that it helps to take breaks periodically to help bring me back down to Earth and refocus my thoughts. I’ll try not to get into endless clicking of links, but maybe listen to music, talk to friends, get a snack, etc.
Relax the mind! Brainstorming or trying to memorize something can be overwhelming, so sometimes doing something relaxing can help your brain settle down. I find things that don’t require too much thought to be really helpful, for example
- Observing live feeds of jellyfish or hammerhead sharks.
- Making my own Picasso masterpiece.
- Doing nothing for 2 minutes. (It will actually stop if you click your mouse again.)
- Depositing everything everything on my mind somewhere else.
If you’re interested in long-term care for your mind, you might also want to try meditation! I started with this free app (for Apple), which provides quick, guided meditations that also come with soothing nature sounds.
Re-energize! Grab a good snack! Something that’s healthy and energizing, like nuts (supposedly, I am most definitely not a health expert), or maybe just something you can indulge in for a little (I am a lot better at this option). Another option is turning up a bit of music, as long as you’re not disturbing your roommates, and dancing/jumping around. Sounds silly but it can be really helpful!
Lastly, Eat well and sleep well! I probably sound like your mother but I am so serious about this one. There seems to be notion among college students that eating poorly and sleeping at weird times is an accepted part of the culture. Of course there’s nothing wrong with taking naps and indulging in some good food–it’s the developing of destructive habits that’s not so healthy. Making sure you get the right amount of sleep and food at regular times is crucial for your health and really pays off, so that when the next study cram session comes around you’ll feel ready for it!