How to relieve stress and prepare for finals

By Duke Staff


So you’ve just finished midterms, your brain is fried and you’re not feeling too great. The Duke is here to let you know it’s not the end of the world. Here are a few tips on how to bounce back from exams.

Firstly, take advantage of being at a small college. We’re lucky to be at Duquesne where it’s easier to have a one-on-one relationship with your professors. That being said, utilize their office hours. Your professors are here to help you, so ask as many questions as you need. And ask them what you can do better in the future instead of begging for extra credit. They’ll appreciate your willingness to improve.

Take advantage of other resources on campus, too, such as the Writing Center in College Hall, which is the perfect place for personal assistance on papers, presentations or other projects.

If you’ve spiraled into a negative state of mind, it can be hard to think rationally, and getting rid of anxiety and stress can be difficult with work constantly piling on. However, there are many things you can do to help distract yourself from negative thoughts.

Do a short stretching routine. This will help you relax your neck and spine and can give you a sense of presence. Focus on how your body is feeling for a few minutes.

Get up and move around. Remove yourself from the physical environment where you’re having a thought spiral and go to a place that you don’t associate with being stressed or anxious. Take a walk outside or people-watch on A-Walk.

Start a detail-oriented task that will get your mind to focus elsewhere, such as drawing, painting or reorganizing your closet.

Breathing exercises are a useful stress-relieving technique, as well. Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly count to three and breath out through your mouth. Repeat until you feel calm enough to tackle your problem.

Ultimately, make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercise and proper nutrition. Keep yourself physically and mentally healthy, and your body and mind will thank you. You’ll feel better equipped to deal with anxiety or stress when you’re keeping self-care in mind.

If you’re worried about your mental health, it’s best to seek help from a professional. The Wellbeing Center in Fisher Hall is a great resource for students to talk to professional psychologists for free.

And finally, remember that your GPA isn’t the most important thing in the world, but your mental health is. Take the time to learn from your mistakes so you’ll be better equipped for future stressful times — such as finals week.