Don’t Empty Your Tank, Fuel Your Finals!

Research shows there is a correlation between stress and poor academic performance. Some scientists find that things like meditation can have also a biological effect, positively impacting your brain and body. So while you should be focused on studying and preparation for final exams, it’s just as important to practice self-care and relieve stress.

We want you to make smart, healthy choices, so here are 10 simple suggestions to help you de-stress and conquer your exams… while not sacrificing your physical or mental well-being!

  1. Relax: Get a massage at the Relaxation Station (G202 MU Student center) or do some stretching yoga poses to limber up your mind and body.
  2. Exhale: Take a moment to deep breathe and relax your muscles. Taking just 5 minutes to focus on your breathing can have positive and immediate results.
  3. Eat well: Before you grab that second cup of coffee or salty popcorn snack, be sure to eat a power food to help you stay healthy and energized for the long-run.
  4. Rest: Be sure to get at least 7 hours sleep or take a 20 minute power nap. Research shows that replacing sleep for extra time studying is ineffective and leads to poorer grades.
  5. Think about your body language: College students who “Power Pose” for two minutes before their presentation or exam increase their testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. This builds feelings of confidence and greater chances for success!
  6. Unplug: Devices can be really disruptive to sleep and distracting while studying. Be mindful of your studies and establish tech-free times or spaces. Only check messages when you can actually respond to them and realize that most alerts are not more urgent or more interesting than the present moment.
  7. Sweat: Go for a quick jog or walk to produce endorphins which in turn help you sleep and reduce stress.
  8. Recharge: Call a family member or friend to catch up and talk about things. You can confide in others how you are feeling but it can be great to discuss topics that aren’t school-related and share a laugh.
  9. Clean up: Decluttering can really boost people’s motivation. Scientists have found that messy spaces can negatively impact your ability to focus and process information. So maybe pick up your room before cracking open a textbook.
  10. Share kindness: Write something you are grateful for or send a note of thanks to someone – it’s an instant mood lifter!