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By Maria Browne

The end of semester is looming and with it comes the stress of final paper deadlines and exams.

With so much to worry about, it can be difficult to find time to relax. Here are five ways to relieve stress when school becomes overwhelming.

Take productive study breaks

In my first year, I took the course UCC 2020: Applied Cognitive and Affective Learning Strategies, which teaches students learning and studying strategies. In this course, students were taught that studying for 45 minutes and then taking a 15 break is an effective method of retaining information. The 15 minutes gives you enough time to relax, maybe to have a snack or watch a YouTube video, before heading back to the books. One of the lessons learned about this method, though, is that taking a break for any longer than 15 minutes can cause you to lose focus and it makes it difficult to return to a second round of studying.

Work it out

Exercise is both good for the body and the mind. Personally, I enjoy running and have recently taken up yoga. It does not have to be anything fancy. The Field House not only offers cardio and strength machines, but also offers classes in Zumba and yoga. The swimming pools in the Field House and the Aquarena are also accessible to students. The exercise facilities at Memorial allow multiple opportunities for students hoping to maintain health and fitness in mind and body.

Reward yourself

Whether it is watching an episode of a favourite Netflix show or heading to Menchies for a frozen yogourt treat with a friend, it is important to give yourself a reward at the end of a long study day. Cramming a ton of information into your brain day and night is just plain exhausting. Furthermore, rewards like these force you to remove yourself from the study environment, find a new space to relax and clear your head.

Quality social time

Unless you are a person who enjoys working in a group, studying and writing papers can be isolating and lonely. Although this cannot always be avoided, after you finish a study sessionit is important to seek out friends and loved ones. Spending time with family and friends is also integral to good mental health.

Get comfortable

There is nothing I love more than returning home from a long day of school, kicking off my boots, and replacing them with my soft, fuzzy slippers. Wearing comfortable clothing can ease the worries associated with school and make studying more bearable. Additionally, a steaming cup of my favourite herbal tea is calming and good for the mind.

There is no doubt the end of semester comes with the burden of final papers and exams. While it can feel overwhelming, these tips can help stress become manageable and the demands that come with the end of term to run more smoothly.

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