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Stay on Top of Finals and Your Health

by Kevin Saez

With the semester almost over, students are studying for finals. This week is really stressful for students and it’s easy for them to forget about their health. Staying healthy during this time is really important and can actually help you study better and be more efficient. Here’s a few tips to stay healthy during finals.

1) Sleep. During finals week, it’s common for students to pull all-nighters. Although these seem like a good idea, they can affect your concentration and immune system. Instead of staying up late into the night, organize your work and time so you can get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. This will improve your energy and mood as well as help you study better.

2) Exercise. Although students are very busy during this time, taking an exercise break can be an effective way to relieve stress, burn calories and raise your mood. Between studying, take a walk or jog around campus, do a short yoga flow or take an exercise class with your friends. Bring your textbook and notes and study while on the treadmill or bike. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better and happy. It’s better to get something in versus nothing, so try and stick to 15-30 minutes a day.

3. Eat healthy snacks. Study sessions can last for many hours during finals week. Eating may not be a priority when you’re in your study zone. To make sure you’re getting in calories and nutrients, prepare or buy some healthy snacks. Eating things such as apples with nut butter, baby carrots with hummus or granola bars can give you energy. Fruits and vegetables are always great snacks as well. These foods will give you energy and keep you going during your study sessions. Junk food gives you the opposite effect. Although these are easy to access, they aren’t the best for you or your brain. Junk food will give you a sugar high, but once that fades, you’ll be left with no energy. Stick to choosing healthy snacks to keep your brain working and your concentration up.

4. Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine is the number one substance college students consume, especially during finals. Whether it is in the form of soda, coffee or energy drinks, students use caffeine to help them power through finals week. The downside? Too much caffeine intake can dehydrate you, cause restlessness and nausea. Limit caffeine intake to one or two beverages a day and try to stay away from processed sources. Instead, drink some tea with a smaller amount of caffeine and stay hydrated with water.

5. Reduce stress. Finals cause a great deal of stress to students. Stress can cause headaches, anxiety, sleep issues, irritability, overeating and much more. Stress can have a negative impact on the body and can make students overwhelmed. To reduce stress and keep your body happy, stay organized with your study schedule. Try to get exercise or any physical activity every day to improve your mood and release stress. It’s also important to get enough rest and take time for yourself. Participate in De-Stress for Finals week here at Montclair State to give yourself a break and have some fun.

The key thing to remember is that your health should come first. Keep all these tips in mind to stay healthy during finals and remember that it will all be okay.

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