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7 Days of Blogging: The Best Ways To Destress During Finals

Posted by on Monday, November 20, 2017 in College Life, College of Arts and Science, Exams, Exams, Finals, Finals, Food, Health, Nashville, Nature.

While Thanksgiving break is far from over, I will admit that my mind has been on the finals I’ll have to take before coming home at the end of the semester. However, while it is easy for college students to get too focused on exams to prioritize their sleep, friendships, and overall wellbeing, my goal for this finals season is to maintain a balance between my academics and my mental, physical, and emotional health. In order to hold myself to this challenge, and to share with you all the sorts of resources Vanderbilt has during finals, I thought I’d share the 5 best ways I’ve found to destress in what can be quite a stressful time on any college campus!

  1. Mega Stress Fest: this is a bit of a shameless plug for Vanderbilt Programming Board’s The VenUe, which is an organization I’m so happy to be a part of, but what can I say! It’s literally an event to reduce stress on campus around finals and to provide a relaxing space amidst exam-oriented chaos. Between comfort food, free massages (!!!), and so many other relaxing activities, I cannot begin to describe how nice it can be to take an hour or two to yourself to attend this event. My favorite thing last year was getting a group of friends to come destress with me and giving ourselves a mental break before heading back to our books.
  2. Going outside: I cannot stress (lol) enough how important it is to get fresh air after studying for hours at a time. Getting up and moving around, stretching your legs and breathing in the outside air, even if only for ten minutes, can make a massive difference. I know that for me, this both improves the way I’m feeling physically, as well as boosting my optimism and reminding me of how beautiful the world is which really helps to put things in perspective. Plus, there are usually a whole bunch of dogs walking around outside during finals season, and what could bring about more happiness than that?
  3. Taking time to eat an *actual* meal: I know how tempting it can be to load up on granola bars and coffee to fuel a long exam study session, but stepping away and eating a real meal in one of the dining halls with friends is such an undervalued way to reduce stress. By eating healthy, real food and chatting with friends, you can leave a dinner feeling recharged and ready to hit the books once more.
  4. Watching a movie: again, this is one of those things that feels difficult to bring oneself to do during finals study sessions, but its one of the best ways to just step back from work for a bit without heading down a spiral of unproductivity. By watching a movie, you allow yourself the right amount of time to just exist without having to accomplish anything, and watching a fun favorite movie can help raise your spirits as you prepare to continue studying.
  5. Getting off campus: while I love our campus dearly and already know that 4 years there will never feel like enough time, it can be very beneficial to head off campus and change up your study spot to a cool Nashville coffee shop, or just grab a meal in town as a nice study break. We can get stuck in the “Vanderbubble” during times like these, and it can be super helpful to step back for just a bit in order to clear your head.

While finals can be scary, Vanderbilt really does try to make things as peaceful as possible and is there to support its students. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I’m sure the list of things to do to destress is different for every person. Now, back to enjoying Thanksgiving break now that I’ve put some of my own worries to rest!

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