8 Tips for Managing your Stress in (Up to) 8 Final Exams


As a senior, I have noticed that every year, finals have crept up on me and caused me much anxiety. It’s quite easy to push off studying or even thinking about final exams until it’s the week of, and you’re sitting in piles of review sheets to memorize. In this series of negative events, poor exam grades will be the outcome, but more importantly, your health will be the first thing to plummet.

Here are some tips I’ve gathered over the years to stay calm and healthy during finals week. Maybe I’ve finally got it down.


  1. Don’t Put off Studying Until the Night Before.
  • You would expect this to be common sense, but we’ve all been there. If you start reviewing three weeks in advance, you’ll find that when the night before a specific exam rolls around, you won’t even have much to review.
  1. Go to Bed Two Hours Earlier.
  • Let’s face it, most of us high school students do not get our recommended nine-and-a- half hours of sleep every night. Can you imagine how much of a difference it would make in your level of tiredness if you were to get enough sleep? Seriously, make it a priority to get into bed earlier than you usually do, even if you already sleep the nine-and- a-half hours.
  1. Focus on Eating Healthy.
  • This is really important for a few reasons. When you eat healthier foods, you are getting more nutrients which will ultimately give you more energy and focus. Also, make sure you are eating enough calories https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/calreqtips.pdf. Lastly, try to keep the sugar intake to a minimum because it’s a proven fact that sugar can make you crash: “High levels of sugar flood the blood and create sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. This can — but doesn’t necessarily — cause a “sugar crash” (sudden headache, fatigue, irritability, increased heart rate, anxiety),” said Gabriella Boston, author of “How to Avoid the Sugar Crash” in The Seattle Times. If anything, avoid refined sugars, and try to eat a lot of protein to help cancel out potential sugar overdoses.
  1. Set Aside “Me” Time.
  • When you have limited time to study for (possibly) eight tests, you probably aren’t going to think to color a mandala or go for a run, but doing hobbies you enjoy will keep you at ease. Even if it’s for just 10 minutes, set aside a specific time span to do a hobby that you enjoy. This will allow you to take a rejuvenating break from studies and refocus.
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Take a Bath.

Here are a few reasons:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Reduces headaches

A simple 15-20 minute bath will clearly do you wonders for stress.

  1. Don’t Isolate Yourself.
  • When caught up in all of the work, you may want to hide in your room. Although it may be difficult, try to talk to your friends and family about your stresses to relax you. “In many (though not all) situations, it’s better for you to discharge negative emotions than to keep them bottled up inside,” reported Leon F Seltzer Ph.D on Psychology Today.
  1. Move On.
  • You failed your first exam, so what? Okay, this may be a bummer, especially if you studied, but dwelling on the past will not better your future. It’s best to recollect, and forget about the bad grade temporarily because you can’t change it. Moving past the poor grade will allow you to better focus on the tests ahead and avoid procrastination.
  1. Plan the Day.
  • Lastly, before finals week begins, take out your calendar and write down your plans for each day. Planning will lead you to better time management. So when planning your days, “ Lump together similar tasks — The reward of increased efficiency will be extra time,” explained the staff of Mayo Clinic in “Need Stress Relief? Try the 4 A’s.”

*When planning your day, maybe you can even make some time for a few yoga poses, as “A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.”