Dec 2nd, 2016, 02:03 AM

Exam Week Stress Relievers

By Margarita Valldejuly
Image credit: Pixabay
Six effective stress relievers to help you survive the last weeks of the semester

Have you ever seen a stress-free college student? Probably not. Stress is a huge part of the college experience, it's something we all have to deal with in life. Now that finals are here, the regular college stress returns tenfold. But help is at hand with these five easy and relaxing stress-relievers.

1. Eat Healthy and Exercise

Ditch the cookies and donuts. Munch on some nuts, fruits or veggies while studying. Unlike candy, fruits offer vitamins, nutrients, minerals and fiber which help you maintain a normal sugar level. Refined sugars, those found in candy, give you an energy spike for about 20 minutes. After those 20 minutes pass, you enter a sugar crash. You feel tired, have a headache and find it difficult to concentrate. Nuts, fruits and veggies are broken down slower by the body which provides you with a longer energy source.

Keep yourself hydrated. Don't forget your refillable water bottle, which is an easy way to avoid feeding the vending machine with much-needed cash and creates less waste.

Most importantly: exercise. Of course, hitting the gym would probably take up too much time... time that you would rather spend studying. But find some alternatives: instead of taking a 15 minute break of checking your phone and sitting on a chair, put on your headphones and walk around the city. Yoga is also a great exercise. Taking 15 minutes to stretch all of your muscles and release tensions in your body will make you feel relaxed for all those hours you are going to be spending attached to a chair. Breathing deeply will help you to oxygenate better, therefore allowing you to relax and concentrate.

Image Credit: Pixabay / Couleur

2. Meditate and Use Positive Guided Imagery

Take at least ten minutes of your day to meditate. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, close your eyes and start breathing. Pay all of your attention to taking long deep breaths. Focus on how the air enters through your nose and travels along your throat to fill up your lungs. Then focus on how that same air leaves your lungs and exits your body the same way it came in. Don't force yourself to breathe a certain way, just breathe naturally.

As you breathe, do a body scan to find if you feel any tensions or tightness in your body and breathe it out. By meditating you will improve your attention, memory, increase your positive emotions and help yourself relax. As you meditate you can also practice Guided Imagery. Sit down, cross your legs, take deep breaths and imagine yourself in a beautiful location. It could be the beach, mountains, forest or absolutely anywhere. Imagine attributes that will make your image more vivid. If you're imagining yourself at the beach, imagine the warmth of the sun's rays on your skin, the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves. Stay within your scene until you feel relaxed and then slowly rejoin the world.

Image credit: Pixabay / Stocksnaps

3. Massage Pressure Points

Massaging your wrists, ears, third eye and base of the skull are the best pressure points to relieve stress.

Measure three fingers down from the start of your wrist and apply pressure where the third finger down touches. Hold the pressure and massage with your thumb in a circular motion for about two minutes.

For your ears, pull down gently on each one and rub the inner part of each ear lobe for about two minutes.

For your third-eye (the space between your eyes), place your index finger firmly against it and tap at least 20 times in a row with a steady flow as you close your eyes and take deep breaths. You should notice a sense of calm and freedom from frustrations, confusion, mental congestion and head pain.

For the base of your skull, interlock your fingers and place them behind your head where your neck meets your skull. Then push your thumbs up and down where the meeting point is for at least 20 seconds. 

Image credit: Pixabay / Stocksnaps

4. Music Therapy

There's an endless list of benefits that come from listening to music. Music makes you happier, lowers stress, improves health and strengthens learning and memory skills. You can listen to chill and relax music while you study and listen to your favorite motivational songs during breaks. When dealing with stress, the right music can actually relax your body and mind.

Image credit: Pixabay / Stocksnaps

​5. Remember... It's almost done!

You've got to remember that it's the last weeks of the semester, soon you'll be back home with family and friends. You'll go to the movies, clubs and restaurants without a care in the world. You'll completely forget finals' week even happened. So, keep your head up and keep going because the semester is coming to an end. Keep the thought in your mind as you battle yourself through finals' week and it will help you to make it out alive. Just a few more weeks and you'll taste freedom again. 

Image credit: Flickr / Vic

Good Luck!