The approaching holiday season brings with it a mix of excitement and stress as busy students try to balance school responsibilities with celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family. This time of high stress and constant activity can lead to increased chances of feeling burned out or overwhelmed, putting a damper on what is supposed to be a fun-filled time of year. But the holidays, and final exams, don’t have to include as much stress, and here are some tips to keep a wide smile through it all.
Know What You’re Up Against
Professors write syllabi long before December, meaning the final exam date, topics and expectations of you, are also set well in advance. Take the time to understand what is down the road and what you need to prepare for.
Once you’ve become familiar with the mountain of responsibilities in front of you, try to break off manageable chunks. Keep a positive outlook: progress is the most important thing, and much better than nothing!
Your workload will only decrease the more you commit to getting it done. Even at a plodding pace, it’s good to try to put the time in whenever you get the chance, even if it only slightly moves the needle forward.
The Slippery Slope of Sleep
Your mom wasn’t lying when she said you needed eight hours of sleep. And if numbers from the American Psychology Association are anything to go by, many people on campus are losing sleep this time of year because of the sheer workload. Stressed out students can’t stop thinking about what they need to do, so a healthy, restful sleep never comes.
Jumping from something like less than four hours of sleep a night up to eight hours is hard and certainly something that will take a bit of adaptation time. But according to the APA, adding just one additional hour of sleep to your regular routine will vastly improve health and happiness.
Resetting your body and brain at the end of each day is critical to maintaining high performance - perfect for knocking out some homework - and for combating stress.
By improving your sleep and making a dedicated commitment to getting at least seven hours a night, you can improve your body’s ability to retain information, stay alert throughout the day and eliminate mental fatigue and fogginess.
Add in Some Exercise
It may seem counterproductive to suggest adding exercise to a busy schedule that already leaves little room for sleep, but by carving out regular time for physical activity you can actually improve your energy levels and help prevent life-threatening illnesses.
Exercise is known to boost endorphin levels and relieve stress, leaving your post-exercise self feeling much more relaxed and at ease. Your temperament will be improved and your mind will be less cloudy, gearing you up to knockout that finals preparation.
The combination of improved moods and increased energy levels will make it easier for you to focus and perform - but don’t pit sleep and exercise against each other. Both are vitally important, and skimping on one does not have to come at the cost of the other.
Make Time for Yourself
Sleep and exercise are natural ways to improve your health and mood, but they can also feel like chores and burdens. Take a deep breath, look at your schedule and find time for you.
Free time can be hard to find, especially with a jam packed studying schedule. Instead of throwing yourself into social commitments that only add to your stress, take a moment to say yes to yourself and address what you feel needs to be done to lighten your load.
It can be tricky to navigate around, but it isn’t selfish to skip events and parties when you’re meaning to take some time to yourself.
Spend Time with the Horn Entrepreneurship Community
You’re not alone in your crazy workload and exhausting stress. Join the Horn Entrepreneurship community for the De-Stress Fest on Dec. 9, from 8 to 10 p.m. to enjoy a relaxing evening with finals survival kits and stress relieving activities in the company of friends.
We will provide our famous finals cereal bar as well as some relaxing activities to help you calm down before exams. This event is free and open to all UD students, no registration required. Come out and relax with the community!
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.