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Health blog #5 – finals and stress

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Stress: the six-letter word that haunts almost every college student around the time of finals. Between classes, homework, and jobs there is very little time for breaks. As humans, many of us naturally want to try and succeed by over-working ourselves. This is very true when it comes to the the end of a semester, and you need to study for finals. If you’re like me, you try to study through the two weeks before finals but always seem to be cramming at the last minute. Let’s be honest, how many people worry about finals a month or two before? We are all focused on the homework and jobs that we already have going on at the time. So it is natural that we put off worrying, usually until the weekend before we have them. This may not be practical, but because of other obligations it is necessary. Because of the cramming you add stress to your body that can run it down and cause more harm than good.

Having a large amount of stress wears your body down fast, and can cause problems. Stress can cause headaches, colds and fatigue due to the fact that you are running down your body’s systems.  Sometimes stress can cause people to have trouble with sleeping. If you are not getting enough sleep  you can become very irritable and moody.nYour body can only be pushed so far before it starts to turn on you. Stress can cause you to have mood swings because you are being over stimulated with work. Also, when you are stressed out, your attention to small details goes away because you want to get things done fast.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle it is important tolearn how to manage your stress.

When it comes to the affects of stress and studying, there are steps one can take to help alleviate the problems that can be caused. One important fact to remember when you are cramming for finals is to make sure you keep a normal sleep schedule. Or if you are having trouble with that, take naps  to help keep your body functioning. While studying, don’t look over notes for three hour chunks, take small breaks and keep your body moving around. By doing this you allow your mind small breaks; if you constantly look over notes you aren’t going to absorb anything you are reading. Also, while studying for finals make sure you eat and drink to keep your energy up. Normally when I study I end up grabbing food that’s easy to pick at, which usually means it’s junk food. Instead of junk food and candy, try eating fruit; it has natural sugar that is better for your body. One thing that will not help in the long run is energy drinks. Yes, they can give you a jolt, but you will feel sluggish by the time the caffeine wears off.  So if you want to have energy, stick with small snacks throughout the day.

For those of you who are thinking “what can I do if I have stress all the time and not just during finals?” here are a few tips that have worked for me.

  • Keep a schedule so you know when you have assignments due and what homework has to be done.
  • Try to get at least eight hours of sleep so that your body has time to recover and repair itself.
  • Eating healthy can also help because if your body is happy it will be easier to get what you need done.
  • Try to stay calm; stress can cause you to get overwhelmed so try deep breathing.

Good luck to everyone who is taking finals!

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