Top 5: Relieve finals stress with food, frequent breaks

Anthony Szudarski

With finals week just around the corner, some of us might be starting to stress out a bit.

Whether doing well on the exam determines if you pass the class or you don’t even have to show up to pass, here are my top five stress-relief methods to consider.

No. 5: Indulge in comfort food

I don’t recommend people go overboard with it, but if you’re having a stressful time studying then take a break and eat something you really love.

If grabbing lunch with a friend gets your mind off your studies for an hour, go do it. It’s always good to get your nose out of the books for a little while.

Though, if one of your favorite foods is bad for you in abundance — maybe Taco Bell — it’s not in your best interest to go through the drive-thru every time you study.

No. 4: Do something you enjoy

Whether it’s watching a movie or reading a book, do something that makes you happy for a bit.

The key is to make sure that when you’re done you have time to come back and study more. Don’t take this as a sign to finally get around to watching “Lost.” Paul Vanderheyden, sophomore operating management and information systems major, reads novels to help combat stress.

“I find a really good novel and tear it apart,” Vanderheyden said. “I’ll pick it up and finish it in the same day.”

No. 3: Clean

As stupid as this sounds, take a break and go clean something.

Whether it’s your room, apartment, house or car, it’ll help get your mind off of everything.

Plus, the task at hand is still a productive use of your time, so it’ll work out nicely. By focusing on cleaning you give yourself a break and you eliminate distractions.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been trying to type up a paper and ended up staring at a spot on my coffee table for a solid 10 minutes rather than hitting a key.

No. 2: Take a breather

One of the worst things I’ve done is force myself to keep studying when I know I can’t take it anymore.

You might be able to push yourself when working out, but looking over pages over and over again when you’re tired of them won’t help. Give yourself breaks: Go for a run, do some yoga or whatever else you want and come back to the material later.

I use this stress relief technique when studying flash cards. When I can, I go for a walk and come back to see if I’m actually getting it.

No. 1: Remember: It’s just a final

Engage in some self-talk and remember it’s just an exam in the long run.

If you do badly, the worst case scenario is you have to take the class again. You’re not going to die and no one is going to get hurt. Will it suck? Maybe, but you’ll live and come out on top next time.

Just remind yourself you’re doing your best and your grade will reflect that. That’s what Jared Murray, junior computer science major, does.

“I try not to freak out about it,” Murray said. “Yes, they’re finals, but after the class you’re probably never going to reflect on the material unless it’s more major-oriented.”