We’re in the homestretch folks! You’ve made it through most of the semester! As finals week approaches, remember to take care of yourself 

It’s easy during to skip out on self-care such as getting enough sleep each night and skipping meals to give you the most amount of time possible to study for exams and finish final projects. It’s essential to take care of yourself while preparing for finals not only to perform well on your exams and end the semester strong–but too also make sure you don’t wear down your immune system before returning home.

Keeping your immune system strong can help prevent you from getting COVID-19 or the flu. This is important as many students are preparing to travel home for winter break and gather with friends and family. Getting a COVID-19 booster shot (or first dose if you haven’t already) and your flu shot can give you extra protection from bringing illnesses with you.

Sleep Health

Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Stick to a consistent sleep schedule to feel well-rested. It is recommended you sleep 7-8 hours a night; however: It’s easy to stay up late studying for exams and finishing up assignments. Your body and brain need adequate sleep to help you perform your best. Plus getting enough sleep keeps your immune system strong. 

All-Nighters Aren't Worth It

While they do provide more time for studying, the lack of sleep will cost you the next day. It impacts your ability to concentrate, reduces your attention span, and negatively impacts your memory forming and recall abilities.  

The best way to study is over multiple days, however it can be hard to prepare for multiple exams. If you’re anything like me and tend to procrastinate, consider studying before bed, going to sleep at your regular time, and waking up an hour or thirty minutes early to finish studying. 

Create a Restful Environment

Create a space that’s ideal for getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t use your bed as a study space during finals week. Instead, study at your desk or in the library.  

In General

Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. If you are feeling hungry before falling asleep, have a light and healthy snack.  

Avoid stimulating drinks before bed, such as coffee and energy drink. Caffeinated drinks can take hours to wear off and affect your sleep quality. Instead, Try calming teas such as chamomile or lavender to help you fall asleep faster.

Physical Health

Include Physical Activity in Your Daily Routine

Regular physical activity can help promote better sleep. Even if it’s something as simple as walking to and from the bus stop or spending ten minutes at home doing yoga. If you can spend some time outside every day do so. 

Eat Healthy Snacks & Foods

  • Eat Citrus for Vitamin C to support a healthy immune system. 
  • Nuts Contain vitamin E. They’re portable and versatile making them the perfect study snack.  
  • Green tea is filled with antioxidants that prevent cell damage. 
  • Drink 8 cups of water during the day. 
  • Dark & Leafy Greens are filled with tons of vitamins and minerals.  

 

Mental Health

Manage Stress Before Bed

Stressful thoughts keeping you awake at night? Keep a notepad by your bed to jot down those thoughts and create a to-do list for the next day.  

Be Kind to Yourself

During exams, don’t be overly critical of yourself. You are not defined by one week during the semester. In most classes, finals only make up a fraction of your overall semester course grade. If you fumble, you already have a semester worth of grades to fall back on.  

Most importantly be kind to yourself and remember the end of the semester is in sight. One failure doesn’t mean you’ll always fail.  

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Robin Woodhouse

Robin is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art and expects to graduate in 2023. She works with the WSU Health Promotions team as graphic design assistant and writer. In her free time, Robin like to bike and spend time with her pets.

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