Tips to Combat End-of-Semester Stress
End-of-semester stress has come around once again. Students are faced with the challenge of completing respective papers and projects while studying for several finals. Those who are not facing such challenges this semester should consider themselves lucky. Nonetheless, this season can prohibit mental clarity and cause a fog of overwhelming responsibility, with some students struggling to balance the weight of various course tasks. With an eagerness to complete the semester, neglected mental fog can pose minor caveats in the process. To avoid such obstacles, it is important to utilize appropriate techniques to combat this very scenario.
The most important step in this process is to take the time to breathe. While it is understandable for some to get lost in the world of studying and projects without respite, this can quickly lead to burnout. Implement 30-minute breaks in between the allotted time spent completing work. This practice may provide mental relief and possibly even heightened motivation. A study conducted at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) found that the brain recognizes continuous stimulation as insignificant, thus erasing it from awareness. In other words: take a break today!
The second most essential step in relieving mental fog is creating a schedule. As repetitive as this advice can be for college students, it is by far the most important step in the process. Not only does a schedule encourage organization, it also provides a detailed preview of what to expect in a day’s time. One of the most notorious downsides of mental fog is forgetfulness. With the use of a practical schedule, the tendency to forget important tasks is stabilized. Furthermore, by using a schedule, ranking the importance of any given task is a lot easier.
In the meantime, make sure to get enough rest. Though running on a few hours of sleep tends to be the norm for some students, this can often be a detriment to health and success. As impossible as it may seem during such a stressful time, it can be done! If it helps at all, take a couple of naps throughout the day to avoid profuse sleep deprivation.
Lastly, if end-of-semester stress becomes too hard to handle, speak to someone about it. UIS has ample resources available to students. By booking an appointment with the UIS Counseling Center, students are provided a listening ear, both on the phone and in-person. To schedule a session at the Counseling Center, call (217) 206-7122. For more information, visit www.uis.edu/counselingcenter/.