- Eat Well So many teens get so stressed that they can't eat during finals week and that's one of the worst things for you. I was like this once, my very first time taking final exams I was so nervous I barely ate all week. Your concentration is lowered, you feel sick, you feel overly-tired, and your body starts hanging onto any and all nutrition it does get. To boost your test scores and lower your stress, please eat well.
- Sleep! A lot of people cram for finals, understandably but sometimes it gets really out of hand and starts affecting your health. It's far better to get a good night's rest before your final than to stay up all night cramming. I promise.
- Chunking Make a study plan before Finals Week and your life will be oh-so much easier. Chunk the two tests you have on Monday together and study for those on Sunday. Chunk the tests you have on Tuesday together and study for those on Monday. Repeat as needed.
- Check It Make a list of things you need to return before the end of school (I have textbooks, my school ID, various cards etc.) and return those as you don't need them. For example, if you have math and Biology on Monday, take your math textbook and your bio textbook and return those on Monday. Two less books to worry about hauling around later.
- Don't neglect personal hygiene One of the most calming things to do when stressed is take a long shower or bath. If you're really overwhelmed while studying, take a hot shower and you'll feel much more calm returning to your books.
- Plan study breaks One popular plan of the most effective way to study is 20 minutes intensive studying with a 5 minute break and every 4th break you take 30 minutes and get up, get active, take a long break. Planning breaks is crucial to your mental health during this time: give yourself a little reward for all the studying you've been doing (but don't get so caught up in your break that you ignore studying for two hours). Also take breaks to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep, and exercise!
- Get active It is never recommended to sit in front of your laptop/textbooks/worksheets for hours on end without a break. Get up! Whether you go on a five-minute walk around the neighborhood or a 3k run on the treadmill exercise is a great way to de-stress. I recommend getting outside as much as possible during study breaks, fresh air always clears my mind.
- Seek help If you find yourself overly-stressed, to the point of not eating, not sleeping, not bathing etc. talk to your teacher, your guidance counselor, your parents, your siblings! Talk to someone who'll listen and help you come up with strategies to lighten the load and calm down.
- Celebrate! This last tip is the most fun one. Once finals week is over, go out and celebrate making it through finals! You have a break coming up ahead and you deserve a fun time with friends and/or family to celebrate all your accomplishments.
That's my list! Do you have anything to add? How do you de-stress during a really stressful time?