The last two weeks before finals are a student-athlete’s worst nightmare. Between all of the exams, projects, papers, assignments, and practicing that goes on, you just hope that you make it out alive. Not only are these next two weeks hard on the mind, but also the body. There are only a couple more workouts and practices left before winter break, so it is vital to give it your all 110% of the time. I know my brain automatically wants to tune out everything and shut down, but these last two weeks matter more than the entire semester combined. The winter season is just beginning, the days are getting shorter, and the temps are falling. This time of year is definitely hard on me, but I know that in the end all of the struggles will be worth it. In my final blog of the semester, I want to share how I keep my mind and body healthy and sane throughout the home stretch of the semester.
I am guilty of this myself, but don’t wait until the last minute to study or make those final touches on your projects and assignments! Plan ahead and block out times to study and get your work done. Doing so will give you more time to do other things and relax. Also, turning your phone off and removing distractions from the room will make it easier to stay focused and retain information. I find it easier to study alone in a quiet room rather than with a group, but find what works best for you.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
I know it can be tempting to get on a Red Bull or coffee streak during finals week, but don’t forget to fuel your body correctly. As much as you think your body needs all of that sugar to function, your body can function just as well by eating a well-balanced diet. Many fruits are enriched with sugars that are a lot healthier than the sugar you find in energy drinks and even coffee. This is also extremely important for athletes as well. Fueling your body with the right nutrients will make recovery easier and give you the needed energy to perform at your very best. Water is the best for your body and keeps you hydrated, too!
Get Enough Sleep
This is more important than you might think! Almost every college has pulled an all-nighter as some point during finals week, but this can actually decrease the amount of information you retain. Your brain remembers more when you get an ample amount of rest, usually around 6-8 hours. Getting a good night’s rest also recharges your body physically so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Take a break from studying and give your mind and body the rest it deserves!
Try Some Yoga
I know my body is physically drained at this point in the semester, so finding time to stretch and release muscle tension is something that I look forward to. Yoga is great for both the mind and body and is known to relieve physical, mental, and emotional stress. There are a variety of free smartphone apps that offer different yoga workouts to try for both beginners and athletes alike. Find one that works for you and give it a try!
Take a Break!
This is the most important of them all! Step back from all of your hard work and take some time for yourself. Go out to lunch with friends, take a brief nap, or watch an episode or two of your favorite Netflix series. Giving your mind a break makes it easier to retain information and relieves stress and anxiety. Exercise also makes a perfect study break too! Again, find what you like to do and give yourself enough time to step back and relax.
Finals week definitely can get the best of us, but don’t let it consume your entire life. Finding time for you is just as important as acing your finals. Take winter break as a time to recharge both the body and mind, because the spring semester will be here before you know it. I wish everyone the best of luck these next two weeks, and I can’t wait to share all of my exciting experiences throughout the course of the coming semester!