#DolphinsLiveWell: Phinishing Strong

Noah Gist, Counseling Center Intern

It’s around when Thanksgiving comes and goes that burnout is a little more than apparent around campus. To be completely honest, Thanksgiving break is almost never a break, given the various familial obligations, travel from and back to campus, and whatever projects or papers your professors might’ve left for the last two weeks. But the good news is that you’re almost done! Finals are just around the corner, and then after that we finally get to go back home. Making it through this last push is by no means easy, but it’ll be over before you know it. To help manage things, here are some good stress management techniques that might give you some breathing room.

Taking a minute in the midst of a stressful work day (or night) just to breathe is super important. Stepping back to be mindful of what’s going on, rather than just being stuck in stressful autopilot, can help you calm down a bit if things become too much for you. Take five minutes to take some deep breaths, relax any physical tension you might be feeling, and clear you head. Stay in the moment, and when you’re ready, get back into it with a fresh mind. It can be tricky to remember that you’re allowed to step back and take a breather, but doing little things for yourself like that can do a lot to make stressful times that much more manageable.

When you have your nose to the grindstone, it’s easy to let self care fall by the wayside. Pro tip: don’t. Getting the right amount of sleep or making sure you eat enough are easy things to miss, but you’ll feel better in the long run if you’re consistent with your self maintenance. Pushing forward despite not getting the things you need might help you finish that paper at 4 A.M., but it won’t help you for whatever you have the next day, or the day after that. Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re still eating regular meals (real meals, not snacks) at regular meal times, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. It may seem like you might not have time for self care, but you’re the only you you get, so make time for it.

Nobody is a working machine, so between work sessions, make sure you’re not locking yourself away in your room all the time to recover. Spending time with friends is a good way to keep stress at bay during finals week. Take breaks just to spend time with the people you care about. Remember that even during stressful times  you’re not alone and there are people who love and support, so make sure you maintain those relationships even when you’re in the trenches.

This may seem like a lot, but the main thing to keep in mind is to not let stressful times get to your head and blow it out of proportion. With that, best of luck to everyone on finals, and have a great winter break!