Managing stress important as finals approach

Between finals, AP tests, and finding a summer job, the last stretch of the school year can be the most stressful for students. As stress builds toward the end of the year, it is important to take time for oneself and manage the heavy workload with distressing techniques. However, the question remains, how can you destress without letting your grades slip?

According to the American Psychological Association, stress is a natural response to stimuli, and although it can prove helpful on occasion, repeated or chronic high stress levels can be extremely damaging. The first important step to managing stress is confronting what is causing it. By confronting the cause of your stress you can start finding solutions or realistic plans instead of burying your anxiety and waiting for it to resurface later. Building a habit of confronting your stress will prove healthy in the long run, as will establishing other healthy stress reducing habits.

According to the APA, one healthy response is to still your mind, which seems vague and hard to take action towards because this process really should be individualized. Quieting one’s mind can take the form of numerous different activities. Walking or exercise like yoga has proven to be beneficial, but studies show that is doesn’t just have to be exercise. It really depends on what works for the individual. Quieting one’s mind is especially important before sleep, as excessive stress can lead to any number of sleep disorders. Taking a few minutes for a de-stressing technique is worth a night of sleep. When one is stressed, it might be hard to think about taking time for oneself but taking a few minutes to add a healthy stress reducing habit to one’s daily routine will be better in the long run.

Once school ends for the summer, it is important to take some time to destress and take a break from the exertion brought on by the school year. However, summer is also a crucial opportunity to knock out certain school work that will only lead to more stress in the fall. For juniors, it would be wise to start working on admissions essays and scholarships as soon as possible even though it can seem like a while away. The truth is deadlines are quickly approaching and that extra work only becomes a burden if left for the fall.

Procrastination is a result of stress or anxiety, but it is only a temporary solution that initiates the domino effect leading to overwork. By managing time in the summer correctly, one will not only be saving themself work in the fall, but also unnecessary stress.