I am just finishing up my 5th year of college, that means I will have gone through final college exams 10 times… holy crap! If that doesn’t make me an expert in dealing with stress I don’t know what else will! Ready for this to be my last round!
Most of us have 4-6 weeks left in the school year and it’s crunch time! The trend during finals is you either eat too much and gain 5 pounds, or you don’t eat enough and the stress becomes worse. For me my stress and anxiety suppresses my hunger. I would forget to eat when my school load piles up and I would either be running around like a chicken with my head cut off or I’d be curled in a ball hiding somewhere. I’m going to share with you guys some tips and tricks I learned to stay healthy during finals and at the very end there will be a snack list for you all!
Planning: I know since most of you reading this are college students you’ve mastered the art of planning and your school planner probably has endless pen marks in it by this time of year. But in addition to planning paper due dates and exams its especially important at this time to plan your meals. I prep all my snacks and meals on Sunday for the whole week and I have grab-and-go items that I toss in my backpack every morning.
These are the things I always stock my backpack up with
If you struggle with eating too much during finals or maybe you go for the pizza and pop approach filling up on total junk food. I urge you NOT to do that. This is the worst time you could possibly be throwing your body’s homeostasis off. Resorting to shitty food at such essential times in your college carrier deprives your body from essential nutrients it needs to not only keep you healthy but to keep your mind functioning properly. You NEED your mind to function properly for finals right?
Fuel your body with as many greens, proteins and fruits you can!
If you don’t eat enough, set an alarm on your phone while you’re studying. Have it go off every hour to 2 hours to grab one of those snacks you packed. I understand seriously forgetting to eat during these times so having something handy and having an alarm as a reminder is really beneficial.
Here’s a good list of healthy snacks to get you through finals!
Other ways to stay healthy:
Hydration: I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle. My classes are about an hour long and I drink an entire 20oz water each class. Hydrating yourself is incredibly important for your health, especially when you’re high stress.
Sleep: NEVER in my college career have I ever stayed up past mid night studying for an exam. First of all my body would be beat the next day. I physically cannot function on less than 6 hours of sleep. Secondly, it’s not good for my health and makes me more prone to getting sick, or a headache when I’m lacking sleep, which isn’t helpful for finals and stress makes it worse. And lastly, my mind wouldn’t recall everything I studied for during my all nighter anyway. Your brain needs sleep in order to file information away from the short term to the long term. To process all the information and then recall that information without sleep is near impossible.
Stress relief: And I don’t mean through alcohol and drugs, although I do enjoy a class of wine when I’m feeling stressed SOMETIMES. If you’re going out partying the night before you’re obviously not too worried about your test score. So this may not apply to very many people who actually care to read this. But I find it beneficial to pin point an activity that helps reduce your stress. Here are some of the things I do or have heard about others doing:
Wash your hands: This is going to sound like elementary school but seriously, I have been so conscious this week of washing my hands really well and often. Everybody’s getting sick because of the stress and lack of sleep and whatever else and there is no way I’m catching that garbage! I might even start wearing a face mask to class :P