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Self-Care Tips for Finals Season

by Kayla Mulligan

As the end of the semester draws to a close and the holiday season begins, there is an underlying dread for many college students. That dread stems from the horrible, no good, very bad final exams.

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and bombarded amidst the assignments, exams and stress. Here are five self-care tips to help prioritize your well-being during the final stretch of the semester:


Meditation is such an underrated way to clear your mind and be present with yourself. With deadlines left and right, it can feel like the semester is moving a mile a minute, and your headspace may suffer.

Finding five minutes or more of your time to just sit and meditate can help clear your headspace and quell the stress of finals. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. There are tons of short and simple guided meditation videos on YouTube that can help with taming stress and finding your inner balance.

Prioritize Sleep

Don’t forget you deserve to rest. We have all been in that situation where we have an assignment due and we make ourselves stay up into the late hours of the night to check them off our list. However, being sleep-deprived can prove to be a huge setback, especially during finals season.

What always helps me is setting a concrete bedtime for myself and shutting off those assignments at a certain time. What you think you’re accomplishing at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. could most likely be done better when you are rested and refreshed.

Develop Organizational Skills

An essential during finals season is finding how to organize your deadlines in a way that works for you. What helps me is creating a list for each class I have and listing all the assignments I have until the end of the semester in chronological order. This helps me to start working on the bigger assignments or the ones with the closest deadlines first.

It’s very gratifying when I get to cross the assignments and exams off of the lists. At the end of the semester, you can see how much you’ve done and feel a sense of pride.

Make Time for Hobbies You Enjoy

It’s so important to allow time for yourself to do things that make you happy. If you catch yourself sitting in front of your computer screen for a length of time and you start to feel like you just want to cry, go and do something you really love to do, whether it’s playing guitar, going to the gym or even just watching your favorite show.

By making time for the things you genuinely enjoy, you create a positive balance to any negative feelings finals season can bring you, making the stress much more manageable.

Fresh Air

This one might seem like an odd self-care tip, but it is vital. It can be so refreshing to step outside and be able to take a deep breath in the crisp, cool December air.

Taking short walks can change your entire headspace and allow you to mentally reset from any work that is consuming your thoughts. Remember there is a beautiful world outside and take a moment to appreciate it and let yourself relax.

These are just some things I try to incorporate into my routine during the stress of finals season. One last important thing to remember during this last stretch of the semester is to be kind to yourself. Know that your finals don’t define you and you are capable of whatever you decide to pursue.

It has been a crazy past two years, and you have made it through. Don’t forget to take it easy on yourself and enjoy the holiday season.

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