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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Gearing up for finals season


Finals season is upon us, and while we might be happy to be home early for the holidays, we’ve been at this for a while. A Loyola student’s semester spent online has been tough, considering that increased screen time, lack of human interaction in the classroom, and arguably more assignments are just some of the various new complaints students have about online learning. The weeks following Thanksgiving break are our final push in this (hopefully last) semester online, and with rising COVID-19 cases looming, now more than ever the student body should be taking self care seriously. Here are a few tips to get you all going as the assignments start rolling in left and right.

Develop a routine

A routine is useful in so many ways. Your body will be happy to have a schedule it is used to, and you can build little elements of self care into your day while maintaining the productivity you need to keep going right until that last paper is submitted. Psychology Today mentions that those with established routines also have better sleep cycles and are better equipped to deal with emotional difficulties (i.e. stress, feeling lonely because of social distancing, other mental health concerns, etc.). A great tip is to look at the things you do every day and focus on those, such as brushing your teeth or maybe watching a show in the morning with breakfast, and then adding something fun to look forward to every day. One of my favorite ways to switch up my routine is to buy Christmas coffee creamer (like this one from Silk) and winter-scented bathroom products. It’s a small way to add something cheery into your day, and just swapping out a few products likely won’t require you to spend much more money or time than normal.

Get some exercise!

According to BrainHQ, exercise improves brain function by increasing oxygen circulation and stimulating the release of hormones (including those which cause stress). YouTube yoga is a regular for me when I need to exercise, and I frequently go to Yoga with Adriene for her anti-stress routines and to get moving. Walking is also a great exercise if you don’t have access to a gym and just want some fresh air. Any form of daily movement counts! Just remember that whatever you’re doing should feel great to you–if you love weightlifting or running, keep it going! If that isn’t for you, keep searching until you find something that works. 

Drink water

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, roughly 60% of our bodies are composed of water. This article also notes that water has more than a few important functions in our bodies— it lubricates our joints, flushes waste, plays a key role in our metabolism, and regulates our body temperature. There are so many factors within finals week which can drag us into some state of dehydration, including lack of sleep, lack of consistent exercise/diet, stress, you name it! One of the smallest, easiest, and most convenient ways to help yourself during finals week is to put a glass (or two) of water by your desk while you work.

Schedule some self care

I know it may seem a little extra, but hear me out. By scheduling moments of self care into your day, you accomplish a few things. You know you will be able to spend time on yourself that day, and it does not take away from your time doing work. You can enjoy that time to yourself guilt free because you accomplished things throughout the rest of your day. Forbes’s website boasts that self care not only makes you happier but also improves your sleep and cognitive functions. Self care extends to others as well— the website also mentions that giving to yourself helps you give to others, mentioning the popular mantra that you “can’t pour from an empty cup.” Pick a show, take a bath, workout, bake, do whatever self-care means to you! A little can go a long way when you give yourself a little TLC.

Preparing for finals week involves more than just outlines, highlighting textbooks, and tripling your caffeine intake. Getting yourself in a good mental space for the end of the semester can be done with the help of these simple tips and tricks, so grab your water, get moving, get snoozing, and work your way through the next few weeks!

Featured Image courtesy of Sarah Davila via Flickr Creative Commons

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Gearing up for finals season