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Spartan Scoop

10 Ways To Combat Finals Anxiety


Finals week has found us! As stress and anxiety begin to set in, it’s important to remember that there is way more to this week than just the tests. Anxiety is defined as any feeling of fear or isolation that can lead to physical and mental health symptoms that affect everyday life. As finals week falls upon us, anxiety can get the best of us. If you’re stressed about grades or even the test itself you are part of the majority of students who may feel more stressed or isolated than usual.  Here are a few ways to combat the stress: 


1.Take A Breath — Literally 

Mindfulness and meditation might not be your thing, but taking a break before the week commences can make a noticeable difference. The long weekend will allow for plenty of time to finish tasks, tend to obligations, and relax. Even if the weekend was stressful you still have plenty of time to take a break and focus on something that benefits you. 


2. Do Something For Yourself 

Being productive is more than just finishing homework; you can’t pour from an empty cup. As explained above, watching a movie or hanging out with friends can be a great way to combat the stress that comes with any test. Working out is a great way to de-stress and can activate muscles in the body and mind and can improve performance for any kind of stressful situation. 


3. Make A List

However you choose to get organized, do it before your first final. There are numerous list making apps that can help keep track of tasks, or there’s old fashioned pen and paper. Prioritizing tasks and staying organized will not only help you finish assignments, but help you feel more productive at the end of the day. This is also helpful with small things like household chores or errands. 


4. Start Studying Now

It’s never too early to start studying regardless of the subject. Many teachers will refer to a study guide or even old tests.   


5. Dress Comfortable

There’s nothing worse than being cold, hot, or just uncomfortable when trying to focus. Dressing warm and comfortable can help put your brain in a state of comfortability and you’ll spend less time worrying about yourself rather than conjugating verbs or carrying the one. 


6. Eat A Good Meal, or A Couple 

Numerous studies show that there are benefits to eating before a big test. Nutrients like Omega-3 fats, protein, and carbohydrates don’t just satisfy your hunger but almost literally “feed” your brain. The BBC explains that when the blood sugar levels in the body drop, the brain is more focused on finding food rather than the tasks at hand. Carbs, protein, and sugars can give your body and mind energy for everything from Algebra to PE. But don’t fake the energy either. Too much caffeine or sugar can overstimulate the brain and cause more harm than good even if it is temporary.  


7. Catch the Zzz’s 

Just like food and water your body needs sleep now more than ever. The Huffington Post states that teenagers need around eight to ten hours of sleep a night. For some of us, that isn’t realistic but getting a good night’s sleep is more than just the amount of it. Spending too much time on a phone or computer before bed can disrupt your circadian rhythm since the brain interprets this as sunlight and begins to wake up. Bad habits are inevitable, but breaking them can begin at anytime. Even if you are attached to your phone, make sure that sleep takes priority throughout the week to alleviate mental and physical exhaustion in general. 


8. Communicate 

Many teachers are aware of student mental health issues, but I have yet to meet a Sentinel teacher who can read minds. Special circumstances such as 504’s and class accommodations might not be obvious. In preparing for the week it is up to you and you alone to communicate additional needs that teachers could be unaware of.Nevertheless, communicating stress in a healthy way to teachers, family, and friends takes practice. But a conversation will always be better than none at all. 


9. Stick To What You Know

Definitely easier said than done, but don’t psych yourself out. Weeks and weeks have gone into preparing for the project, exam, or presentation and chances are you know a lot more than you give yourself credit for. Multiple choice questions get the best of all of us but sticking to the basics will go farther than any complexities that are forced into the work for a grade. 


10. Reward Yourself 

It’s been a long week! If you don’t have school on Friday—or even if you do—take time to reward yourself with a treat, time to yourself, or a night out with friends. The Spartan basketball team will play Butte at 7pm on Friday and everyone gets at least a three day weekend as Monday the 24th is a teacher inservice day. Plan a getaway or even a movie night to reward yourself for hard work. You deserve it.

About the Contributor
Madeline Bates, Editor
Hi! My name is Madeline Bates and this is my first year on the Spartan Scoop staff as Co-Assistant Editor. As a senior, I am trying my best to get as involved as possible before heading off to college next year. I am also Publicity Manager for the Spartan Dance Team and Speech & Debate. Aside from this, I am also in Pep Band and I work at the YMCA as a camp counselor and front desk associate. I love long drives, working out, corny jokes, and iced coffee. I hope to get to know more about the Sentinel Student Body as this year allows me to!!