Here’s some good news: the fall semester is almost over! And some bad news: it’s almost finals week. Whether you have exams or projects coming up, here are some practice tips to help you manage and reduce stress around finals.
Change the narrative
You may not realize it, but the way you talk to yourself can help (or hinder) your progress when working through stressful tasks. For instance, you may find yourself saying something like, “Ugh, I should really be studying right now.”
This type of self-talk can increase stress and create unnecessary pressure to complete a given task. Instead, try changing the narrative and see how you feel taking a gentler approach. For instance, you could say something like, “It would be a great kindness to my future self if I got up right now and did XYZ.”
Changing the narrative in this way can help you practice self-compassion, which can be especially beneficial when you’re trying to work through stressful situations or demanding tasks. Keep in mind that this isn’t a foolproof formula. Changing the way you speak to yourself might not always make you jump into action, but it can help you be kinder to yourself in the process.
Prioritize and simplify self-care tasks
During stressful times, self-care may start to seem like a chore. When you can’t do everything you want to do, it’s important to identify which self-care tasks are necessary for you to function. Prioritize these tasks and simplify them whenever possible. Here are a few examples of tasks you can simplify:
Hygiene: Practicing good hygiene can be difficult when you’re feeling burnt out, depressed or overwhelmed. However, it’s an important component of both our mental and physical health. If you don’t have the energy to take a shower, consider trying one of these simplified tasks:
Laundry: The way we dress can be a reflection of our emotional state, and wearing clean clothes can help improve our well-being. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your laundry, consider trying one of these simplified tasks:
Dishes: Whether you live alone or with roommates, dishes can be a task that causes many of us stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by dishes in the sink, consider trying this simplified task:
Groceries and food: Eating regular meals and snacks can help you stay motivated and energized throughout finals. However, if the thought of grocery shopping feels like a burden, consider trying one of these simplified tasks: