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  • Writer's pictureDulce Rivera

Self-Care as a Student During Finals Season



Hello! Are you here to improve your self-care during stressful finals? Or are you here to procrastinate on your studying? Either way, welcome! I have been in your shoes several times and I know that this time of the year is especially difficult for students because you not only have to deal with the stress from the holidays but have the additional pressure of school and final exams, presentations, and assignments which professors love to have due all at the same time. I know it’s not fun, but I have compiled a list of useful tips that helped me (and hopefully will help you too) to get through the stress of final exams, presentations, and assignments.


Before we start, please stop for a moment, and take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale. Feeling a tad better? Nice. Without further ado, here are eight tips that can help you get through finals season.


  1. Replenish with H2O! Water is such an easy thing to forget when you are cramming for multiple exams. An easy trick to stay hydrated is to carry your refillable water bottle to your study sessions and set little timers after every hour to take a sip. 

  2. Food = brain power! Food is your sustenance, and your body will need it to get through finals season. You can stock up on snacks or meal prep if you’re on a busy schedule.

  3. Divide and conquer. Studying in groups and dividing the work amongst yourselves can save you a lot of time and pressure to do all the work on your own. This is also a great way to feel like you are not alone in your struggle!

  4. Prioritize sleep. I know that sleep is an easy thing to compromise on during finals season, but sleep is essential to help you stay focused, have better concentration and improve your academic performance. Moreover, sleep helps recharge our mental and physical batteries, providing a break and rest during such a busy time. Ideally, you should be getting around 7 to 8 hours of daily sleep. 

  5. Take breaks to destress and decompress. Working for hours and hours without end can be very counterproductive to your studying as you may burn yourself out. Taking intentional breaks that help you destress or decompress can be a great way to refresh your brain and improve your energy, focus and productivity. Here are some things you can do: 

    1. Go on a walk.

    2. Take a power nap.

    3. Do a breathing exercise.

    4. Take a shower.

    5. Stretch your body.

    6. Tidy up your workspace.

  6. Use the pomodoro method. What is the pomodoro method? Great question! Basically, you set a timer to work for 25-minute intervals and then take a 5 minute break. Then you repeat the cycle until you complete your tasks. I use the Focus Keeper app to help keep track of time. 

  7. Reward yourself with little treats. This is a nice way to make studying a little bit more pleasant. After completing tasks or working for a set amount of time, you can take a little break and reward yourself with a small snack, or do something that brings you joy (like playing a game on your phone or talking to a friend on the phone). 

  8. Make a playlist to help you focus. Listening to background music can help you improve your focus and minimize distractions. My personal favorite on YouTube is lo-fi beats but you can create your own playlist tailored to what helps you the most.


I hope these tricks help you navigate this stressful season. Remember to take care of your mental and physical health and you will get through! I’m wishing you the best of luck with your exams, presentations, and assignments. 


If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with a therapist at Safe Space Counseling in California, please request an appointment here.


Author: Dulce Rivera

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