As a teen or college student preparing for finals, you may be feeling the pressure to succeed.
The strain of balancing life with final projects, tests, and homework can get overwhelming and trigger symptoms like anxiety and depression. To cope, some may turn to substance use and other unhealthy habits.
To healthily cope with stress during finals, it’s important to stick to a schedule, know where your priorities lie, and not be afraid to reach out for help.
Make A Study Schedule
Creating a study schedule and sticking to it can help you feel more in control. You know what to expect when and seeing tasks being crossed off as they are completed can be a great feeling! Color coding your schedule by class can help you visualize what needs to be done when. If needed, you can set reminders on your phone.
Take Some Time To Yourself
In-between all of that studying, make sure to stop and take some time for yourself. This can be taking a nap, playing a game, having a snack, or going out with your friends for a meal. Whatever it may be, taking time for yourself during times of stress like finals is a great way to decompress and have some fun.
Stay Connected With Friends And Family
Staying connected with friends and family during finals weeks is a great way to de-stress and get things off of your chest. Be it getting a meal or a weekly call on the phone, connecting with others you trust as your support system can help you remember that you aren’t alone. Your friends and family may have their own tips to share to help you through the stress.
Know How To Say No
During finals, you and your friends may want to go out and have fun. During these times, it’s important to know how to say no to situations that you’re not comfortable being in. Friends and family (and others!) should respect your decision to abstain from alcohol and other substances. You don’t have to give an excuse, but if the person offering is persistent, saying something like “I don’t like the taste” or “I have to drive tonight” can work. Remember: ‘No’ is a complete sentence!
If you are of age to legally drink, remember to drink responsibly and always have a safe way to get home.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep is an important factor in not only feeling rested in the morning, but provides a host of benefits like:
- Getting sick less often
- Reduced stress
- Avoiding injuries due to drowsiness
- Better memory
So while it may be tempting to stay up all night cramming, set a time to go to bed for a better nights sleep.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
You may be surprised at how much eating a healthy meal and getting some exercise can help with stress during finals week. Even if it’s just a walk around campus, exercise stimulates the production of endorphins and reduces stress hormones. This can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression and promote relaxation.
Find The Help You Need At PreventEd
Need some extra support? The counselors at PreventEd are here to answer your questions and provide a supportive environment. For yourself or for a friend, we are here to help with getting you the best resources to battle a substance use disorder or offer advice. We are committed to bringing you the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding substance use, be it alcohol, cannabis, or opioids.