by Natasha Overin
Finals season is here. For many students, this means an onslaught of papers, exams, group projects and late nights of studying. However, productive study sessions aren't just about endless hours spent in the library, but also about taking care of your mind and body in order to maximize your productivity.
Here are six simple ways to stay healthy and decrease stress during finals season.
While breaking a sweat might seem like the last activity on your to-do list during finals season, setting aside time in your schedule for daily physical activity can help combat stress. Even a half hour of physical activity can be a big stress reliever during finals season. Try one of the free group fitness classes at CSULB’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center, such as yoga, spin and Zumba.
2. Make time for activities you enjoy
Schedule out breaks in between studying to practice activities you enjoy. This can be watching a half-hour of your favorite Netflix show, playing an instrument, drawing, calling a friend or any other hobby. Scheduling time for breaks can maximize productivity when studying.
3. Take a deep breath
Breathing techniques are a simple way to relieve stress while studying. When taking intentional deep, slow breaths, the heart rate slows, muscles relax and blood pressure drops. Try a breathing exercise of five minutes of abdominal breathing:
Breathe in for seven seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, breathe out for seven seconds.
4. Try a social media hiatus
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be tempting distractions while studying. (And as public relations students, many of us love our social media!) It's easy to procrastinate on tasks by browsing through a social media newsfeed. To power through an extended study session, try logging out of your social media accounts or temporarily delete social media apps from your phone.
5. Step outside
During finals season, it can be tempting to bunker down in the library all day. Be sure to step outside, even if it’s just a five minute walk around your neighborhood, or a stroll through campus. Need to relax near campus? CSULB's Japanese Garden provides a relaxing space to destress during finals and get some fresh air.
6. Choose healthy snacks
Studies have shown that certain foods can help relieve stress and anxiety. While it is tempting to reach for an energy drink during that late night study session, this can heighten your stress. Instead, opt for mood boosting snacks such as blueberries, dark chocolate and pistachio nuts. Munch on some pumpkin and sunflower seeds during your next study session, which have high levels of emotion–regulating magnesium.
Good luck, and happy studying!
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