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20 Ways to De-Stress After Finals

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    With stress being constant throughout the semester, it gets particularly stressful during finals weeks. It is important to de-stress once finals are over. Here are 20 ways to de-stress. Helpful lists like this one are among the many skills of Ultius' talented writers.

    Here are 20 ways to de-stress after finals

    1. Do something fun

    As quiet as it's kept, this is something that many people just don't do. Giving your brain a breather is a must, especially if you've taken several finals on the same day. Play a video game, or watch a DVD. Spend anywhere between 20-30 minutes doing this fun activity. Your brain and body will thank you.

    2. Exercise

    After a stressful situation, it is often a good idea to get a quick jog or run in. Nothing takes your mind off of finals and the intensity of studying like an energizing exercise. There are many stress relieving physical activities including:

    • Basketball
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Running
    • Golf

    All are good ways to wind down after surviving the trials of finals week.

    3. Don't do anything

    This recommendation may sound dull and humdrum, but in fact just sitting and not having any concrete thoughts for about 5 minutes, or for as long as you can make a tremendous difference. Your body will be able to wind down from the day to day activity of testing. Hint: the quieter the environment, the better. 

    4. Shift your focus

    Both undergraduate and graduate studies impose a great deal of stress. Different than doing an activity, this includes everything - including eating. After tests, sometimes we feel all kinds of emotions and it is vital that you let them out as fast as you can to de-stress. 

    5. Breathing

    Deep breathing is very rejuvenating. It centers the mind and calms down the bodily vehicle. Start by counting to 20 and then counting backwards. Stress tends to raise the heart rate and blood pressure, present a significant amount of anxiety and weakens the immune system therefore; meditation can be a powerful and potent remedy to alleviate mental exertion. Let the tension and stress melt away with a few deep breaths.

    6. Yoga

    There are many different types of yoga out there. A type of modality rooted in releasing all of life’s cares, yoga includes breathing and relaxing, as well as meditation that cleanses the essence of the mind, body and spirit and forces you to let all of the stress associated with finals fall by the wayside.  While this particular tip is more of a long-term de-stressor, yoga has many benefits. Yoga has been recognized to have versatile benefits to the human body including:

    • Positioning the body to have better and more relaxed sleep
    • Decreasing cholesterol
    • Improving one’s focus and memory
    • A more balanced and immune system

    Seek out a yoga studio after finals.

    7. Read for fun

    While many may not want to even think about picking up another book, sometimes moving to a different type of material other than school is a good idea. Many studies have shown that certain types of books that are exceptionally engrossing are ideal picks to de-stress from finals. It might even help you improve your writing skills.

    8. Eat chocolate

    Studies have shown that eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate reduces stress hormones. So go ahead and grab a bite or two, or three or the whole thing and decompress after finals. You might even consider eating chocolate even before taking finals, as it has been shown to improve brain functionality. 

    9. Create a stress free relaxation space

    Removing yourself from the usual routine of life is easier said than done, but this particular tip will help you to de-stress after finals. The space itself can be an area in your house, room or even in your car. Whatever space that you find relaxing will be doable to incorporate this, post-exams. The suggested time needed to spend in your relaxation space is at bare minimum 30 minutes.

    10. Hang out with friends to de-stress

    You most likely are not the only one who needs to de-stress after finals, so it is essential to catch up with your friends, especially funny ones as laughter and humor in general have numerous advantages in the relief of stress. After finals, everyone is winding down and ready to feel lighter and be uplifted. Making time to hang out with friends on the phone, in person or over Skype, will allow the de-stressing process to begin. 

    11. Be a kid

    Life seems to have been less stressful when we were kids, so why not relive the experience? We as students often forget what it was like to be a kid. Try the following:

    • Swing on a swing
    • Climb a tree
    • Make s'mores
    • Watch cartoons
    • Color a picture
    • Catch fireflies at night
    • Play a video game

    Take a walk down nostalgia lane and feel the memories override the stressful feelings that finals bring.

    12. Go to the park

    Nature has a way of affecting us - in a very good way. The pace of nature is one that frees us from life's stresses. It forces us to get back to the basics. After finals, take a trip to the park and breathe in some fresh air and the simplicity of the outdoors. Science has proven to be quite effective in getting rid of stress, especially following any kind of test or exam.

    13. Go for an adrenaline pump

    Nothing beats the finals blues, like a blood pumping adrenaline rush. There are many ways to relax that are non-exercise related. Get on a bike, try a class in karate. The possibilities are endless to get your adrenaline going especially after a brain workout.

    Are you stuck studying for finals? Here are 10 crazy ways to get through finals.

    14. Dance to de-stress

    Listen to some music and dance to your heart’s content. Dance has been proven to be a great revitalizer of energy and in renewing the mind and body after it has been stressed out. Dancing also has been shown to reduce anxiety and strengthen the immune system because of the serotonin levels that increase while moving. Music only adds the desired effect for an exceptional de-stress therapy.

    15. Drive 

    Drive and have some time to yourself. While you may not have anywhere in particular you want to drive to, just rolling down your windows and letting the air blow around you can help with the de-stressing process. Note: driving can be done in pure silence or with the stereo blasting.

    16. Find an event to attend / take a vacation

    As finals are usually around either the holidays or early summer, there are many events that cities have that are free that will allow you to de-stress. Check your local newspaper or college campus bulletin board to see what events you can attend that will ease the stress after finals. Post finals is also a great time to take a getaway. There are numerous vacation locations that are perfect place for students to recharge after finals.

    17. Take a virtual trip to a social media network

    As technology evolves, most of us have taken to social media. Everything from Flickr to Twitter, will provide you an avenue to let the stress go as quickly as possible and immerse yourself in all of the goodies that social media offers. Social networking can be a great forum to vent about the pressures of final exams. 

    18. Sip on some coffee after finals too

    Coffee gets the blood going. Most, if not all of the time after finals, we are drained. Coffee is a great pick me up to get the juices in the body moving.

    19. Treat yourself to something

    Whatever this something is, that is entirely up to you:  

    • Blow some cash
    • Have a drink
    • Go on a date
    • Indulge in dessert
    • Go to a concert

    Just as long as it is for you and not for someone else.

    20. Sleep

    Taking naps is good for the mind. Finals often tire you out, so what better way than to lessen the fatigue than to curl up under the covers and catch some z’s.

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