A Guide to Managing Stress During Finals Week

As the season has turned and the end of the semester is creeping up, it is important that students are managing their stress and taking time for themselves and their wellbeing. 

The question is: how can it be beneficial to take time away from school and extracurriculars in the midst of finals week? Here is a list of possible ways to relieve and manage stress during one of the most stressful times of the year. 

Make A List

Before jumping into the week, make a list of what may be causing stress. Ponder on the list for only a few minutes, then throw the list away. Physically getting rid of things that cause anxiety will help stress levels go down.  Make another list of ‘to-do’s’ for the week and check them off throughout the day.

Get Some Exercise 

An effective way to relieve stress and concentrate is by working out. This action can come in many shapes and forms. It can be as simple as going on a walk around the block, or even spending an hour at the gym. Yoga and guided breathing are also a great way to clear the mind and reflect on the positive.


A more specific form of exercise that can help manage stress is meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be led by a professional. Throw on some nature sounds and focus on what can be controlled at the current moment. If the idea of a self-guided routine is uncomfortable, experienced coaches on YouTube have step-by-step meditation exercises that can help clear the mind. 

Grounding, a form of meditation, is described as a “therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth,” according to Healthline. Science has shown that it decreases stress and anxiety while improving mood and productivity.

Take a Break

During all of the hectic studying and cramming for final exams, don’t forget to take a break. Overloading the mind with information and material from class will only add to stress and cause frustration. Get up, and get out. Be productive and rejuvenate before heading back to study.  

Reach Out to Loved Ones

Take a moment to call a family member or friend for some motivation.  The American Institute of Stress explained, “One study found that hearing your mom’s voice has stress-lowering benefits on par with seeing her in person. Research also suggests that feeling supported by loved ones of any kind might help reduce the effects of stress.”

Regardless of what profession students plan on going into post-college, it is vital to take a moment and remember that a human can only do so much. Finals week can be tough, but keeping a calendar, taking time for oneself and reaching out to loved ones can help make the load a little lighter.


Story by: Lainie Hallows
Photos courtesy of users, Sydney Rae, JD Mason, Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash