Stress Management During Finals

Anxiety

By GRPH3B18 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The last week of the semester is a struggle for many students. There’s the typical stress over final exams and papers, lack of sleep fueled by caffeine, and inconsistent meals or snack binges. Students may also be moving out of the dorms, making travel plans, and preparing for the winter holidays. All of these things are overwhelming and can lead to stress that makes us feel ill.

Helpguide.org, a non-profit educational website, has put together a stress management guide to help readers reduce stress. There are suggestions that you can use right away to cope with your stress during finals, and also suggestions of what you can do long-term to prevent stress throughout the year.

To relieve stress now you can try relaxation techniques. The simplest technique you can try anywhere is a breathing meditation. Slowly and deeply breathe from the abdomen (in through the nose and out through the mouth) several times, focusing on the path the breath takes throughout your body. Counting your breaths may help you create a rhythm that will become the focus of your attention.

If you have 10-20 minutes, try a guided meditation. There are many YouTube videos and audio guides on the Internet. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has many free audio guides on their website and iTunes U.

The Sullivan Library has several resources on the topic of stress management. For example, check out the print book by Jeffrey Kottler titled Stress management and prevention: applications to everyday life (Call number: 616.98 K848s). Or see Stephen Palmer’s How to deal with stress, which is an e-book available through EBSCO’s Ebrary.

All of these resources are offered for informational purposes and don’t substitute for professional care. If you want more information, or need help for stress or other issues, the Counseling Department at Dominican College can meet with you. They are located in Forkel Hall and are available by appointment: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m – 3 p.m and Friday from 9 a.m – 12 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling: (845) 848-4036.