Seven Tips for Dealing with Stress During Midterms

Here are my top seven tips for stress relief during midterm season, and you should listen to me because I’m a senior and I have experienced situations like this many times.  

1) Plan out your schedule with lists 

There is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a checklist. Planning your days and weeks with three top-priority tasks, three secondary tasks, and so on can help you figure out what you need to get done, and in what order.

2) Do not pull an all-nighter

According to the National Sleep Foundation, staying up all night studying for an exam can actually worsen your memory, slow reaction time, and cause difficulty concentrating.  Prioritize study time for before bedtime, drift off into peaceful slumber to awaken more refreshed and better prepared to ace an exam. 

3) Meditate

Take at least ten minutes out of your day to focus on breathing and meditation. Clear your mind of all things school, focus on your breath, and think happy thoughts.

4) Color

Coloring isn’t just for kids, try out some Zen tangling, doodling, or buy coloring books.  According to Beaumont Health, coloring relaxes the fear center of the brain, the amygdala. This helps boost mindfulness and induces the same peaceful state as meditating. 

5) Go outside

Weather permitting, take a walk or read your notes outside.  Being surrounded by nature can be relaxing.  Ashford University says that after taking a walk outside, people feel 20% better, and being outside can make a person up to 60 percent more creative.

6) Plan something to look forward to

After completing a project, taking an exam, or submitting an assignment, reward yourself! Being a college student isn’t easy, and having something to look forward to after a tough midterm season can motivate you. Grab food with friends, take a trip to the mall, see a movie, or buy yourself a small gift. You deserve it. 

7) Take advantage of university resources

The University of New Haven offers access to free tutoring through the Center for Learning Resources, academic advising through the Center for Student Success, and more.  If you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help.