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DU Undergraduate Student Shares Relaxation Strategies for Exam Week

This quarter has been especially hard for many college students around the nation. Between navigating roommates who may have different COVID standards, to Zoom fatigue, to 2020 Election stress, it has been an unusual quarter to say the least. While some stress can be a good motivator to get things done, too much can have serious implications on your health. Here are five ways DU students can de-stress from wherever you are ahead of finals week:

(1) Get your body moving!
Take your mind off your final assignments of the quarter and give your brain a break by going outside. Go for a run, do some jumping jacks or just stretch (we spend a lot of time looking down at our computers). Sometimes I don’t like to come up with my own workouts; I’d rather someone just tell me what to do—especially during finals week when I already have a lot on my mind. That’s why the online fitness classes at the Ritchie Center are a great and safe way to move your body and give your brain a break.

(2) Reach out
Call someone you love! Whether it be your best friend from high school or a sibling, calling someone you love can help put things into perspective and can take your mind off your finals for a few minutes. Alternatively, Zoom with a classmate, TA or advisor who can help you understand anything you’re struggling with. The Health and Counseling Center is another great resource, either on campus or via telehealth.

(3) Be nice to yourself
I’ve never been a believer in all-nighters to cram for an exam or write a paper. Even if you think this works for you, missing out on sleep is bad for your health, and studying while tired isn’t effective. Take care of yourself in every aspect; eat right, be social (with physical distance), relax, give your eyes a break from screens. 

(4) Take a break with something that makes you happy
Whatever your hobby is, take some time to do it during finals week! Make some time for yourself—you can’t study 24 hours a day.

(5) Make a plan
Before I start my weeks, I write out everything I have to do that week, then assign it to a day. Setting aside time for things gives me peace of mind that I will be able to get everything done. I use Post-it notes on my laptop, but a graphic planner or bullet journal might just be the thing to help you finish this weird quarter strong.

Abby Walker is a third-year student majoring in biology and psychology at the University of Denver. She also is a student employee in the Daniels Office of Communications and Marketing.