Midterm season is upon us, and basically everyone I know is stressed and overtired. How could you not be? All midterms seem to happen for every single class at the same time, and with clubs, internships, and jobs, having free time is a rare occurrence in many of our lives.
Keeping that in mind, I wanted to take this post to remind people to take care of themselves during this stressful time. It can be so easy to down 3 coffees and pull an all-nighter the day before a big exam, but it can be pretty difficult to actually practice healthy ways of staying stress-free, remembering self care and wellbeing during this busy time.
I have compiled a list of methods that I use to maintain a stress-free life when I feel overwhelmed. Some of these may seem pretty self-explanatory, but I hope that by putting them out there I’m reminding everyone to relax and focus on the positive 🙂
1. Don’t stop doing the things you love!
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to continue to do things that make you happy if you are stressed or overwhelmed. I personally enjoy exercising (I’m on the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team here at BU!), writing (I write for Hoochie, a feminist blog and anthology series), and unwinding by hanging out with friends. Even during busy weeks, I try not to skip too many clubs, meetings, or social gatherings because sometimes taking the time out of your day to do the things you love with the people you love is enough to transform your mindset and help you grind through that last page of your essay.
2. Practice self care.
For me, this means either spending a night in watching Netflix or a good movie, or going out and doing something new and exciting in the city. We have the entire city of Boston at our fingertips, so use it! Last night, after studying for my Comp Sci exam all day, I went out with some friends and tried a new restaurant in the North End. It didn’t take too much time out of my day, but it still got me off campus and felt like a breath of fresh air after working for so long. And if going out isn’t your thing, staying in is just as therapeutic! Have a “treat yo-self” night and watch a feel-good movie while eating comfort foods. Sometimes this simple method of self-care can make all the difference in the world.
3. SLEEP A LOT!!
Okay, we all know this isn’t totally realistic considering the fact that we are all in college and super busy all the time, but even after a night of 3 hours of sleep, napping is your best friend. To be honest, I couldn’t really nap until recently because I’m a very light sleeper and found it hard to nap during the day. If this sounds like you, consider getting an eye mask or ear plugs to help you fall asleep during the day. I did and it honestly changed my life- now I’m a huge fan of napping and you should be too!!
4. Do something nature-y (if that’s your jam).
So not all of us are inclined to outdoorsy things, but if you are, find a nice spot outside where you can study or just take a walk outside! The foliage is beautiful this time of year, and you might as well take full advantage of the weather before it gets insanely cold in Boston. I like taking walks around the Common or Esplanade to destress, or even window-shopping along Newbury Street. If you’re into more rigorous outdoor exercise, the BU Outing Club coordinates weekend hiking trips all over New England, which I would highly recommend!
5. Remember, it’s the little things that count!
Sometimes, it’s the smallest tasks that you can check off your to do list that make all the difference. For you, this may mean making your bed everyday so that your room looks a little neater when you leave for classes. In the same vein, it may mean cleaning your room more often, especially if your desk is your primary study space. I’ve found that having a clear desk to work on clears my mind as well. Other small things may be exercising more, eating healthier, or various other small tasks that have been sitting on your to do list for ages. Even if you feel like you’re all over the place in terms of schoolwork, getting other things out of the way will clear your head and make for a better mindset when attempting to accomplish tasks in other facets of your life.
Hopefully these tips were helpful! I think they are all very doable, but sometimes it just takes the extra push to get out there and get your mind off of schoolwork for a couple of hours. This is your reminder to do just that!! Remember that you GOT this, you’re incredible, and, most importantly, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF <3