Humans have extra adrenaline and cortisol flowing though our bodies when under stress said Lia Gilmore, referral services coordinator for Counseling and Psychological Services. She added that this helps give students the energy to cram for exams and get their papers done in record time.
“However, we are human and can't exist like that for long without "crashing" emotionally or physically,” she said. “But it is easy to forget and we can easily fool ourselves in to thinking we can remain overly productive.”
Gilmore suggested several tips for keeping cool, calm and collected under the stress of finals week.
1. Build breaks that are nourishing in body, mind or spirit into your studying time. Some examples may include spending quality time with friends, physical activity such as light exercise and intentional relaxation—not just zoning out on the couch, but mindful or focused breathing.
2. Take a blanket to Duke Gardens for a study break in this gorgeous weather so you will be better able to re-focus on your studies.
3. Remember to eat regular healthy meals.
4. Get enough sleep. Do your best to prepare, but turn out the light at a reasonable time. You will do better being well-rested with less study time than being sleep deprived with extra studying.
5. Remember that this will pass and that what seems drastic now will not be the case in a week, month or a year. Sometimes our minds convince us that everything is riding on one exam. Breathe deeply and know that it is not.