Here’s How to Stay Mentally Healthy During Finals Week

Don’t let all the tests and grades stress you out.

By Brenda SalinasMay 8, 2015 7:53 am

You can’t always avoid a stressful environment, whether it’s work or home or personal frustrating circumstances. But according to Ellen Barg-Walkow, a Master’s student in social work, you can mitigate the effect of that stress on your life:  all you need to do is follow a couple of steps.

“Express gratitude, just saying ‘thanks’ will remind you how much you have to be thankful for,” Barg-Walkow says. “Plus, just like it feels great to hear someone to say ‘thank you,’ it feels really good to know that you’ve made others feel appreciated too.”

Students should remember that it’s not all just about finals – connecting with friends can help stave off the depression and stress students experience during finals week.

“Surround yourself with people that make you feel good about who you are and try to keep the conversation fun and positive, but also encouraging,” Barg-Walkow says.

And don’t keep yourself cooped up in the library or at a cubical. Since it’s not that hot out, try to get outside and experience something besides four blank walls and a computer screen.

“Your body needs to see a little sun, get some fresh air and remember that there’s a lot going on in the world besides the challenges you’re facing right now.”

While it may seem impossible or that you don’t have the time,  it’s vital that students get some sleep.

“Your brain really needs this time to sort through everything you’ve done during the day,” she says. “You may think you’ll be less stressed if you pull an all-nighter to get all your work done, but really, in the long run a good, a good night’s sleep will do you a lot more good – if nothing else, go for the power nap.”

Barg-Walkow says that relaxation and meditative practices like Yoga and deep-breathing, while they may require you to give up a little time, really help practitioners mental health.

“Even stopping for two minutes to close your eyes, clear your mind and focus on your breathing, will do you worlds of good.”

We’re all in this together, so get the word out and share your mental techniques with #TreatYourselftoMentalHealth, on Facebook or Twitter.