Chill Out, Not Burnout

Brittany Raysby, Staff writer

It’s 3 a.m. and you are sitting on your floor with three finished coffees and you just cracked open a 5 hour energy shot. Your paper is due later that morning and you already regret your current life choices. Ready or not, finals season is waiting around the corner.

         When the insanity of school and work get in the way, it’s easy to forget to eat properly and get enough sleep. The late nights spent writing a paper or cramming for a test pile up, and the next thing you know, you’re totally drained. Stressing too much about grades and performance in classes can end up biting you in the ass. While your grades are important to your future degree, your physical and mental health are just as important.

  • Drink Water & Stay Hydrated

While it may seem almost too simple, drinking water is paramount in staying healthy. Not only does it help keep your immune system going, it helps your brain say fresh too.

          According to Fiona Macrae, author of the article “How to Do Better in Your Exams”,  she writes,  “Students who took a drink into the exam hall did up to 10 percent better than those who did not – the difference between a grade.”

          Although researchers are unable to pinpoint exactly why this is, it seems to help considerably when studying and taking tests. Also, try not to overdo the coffee and energy drink combo. It comes back to haunt you.

  • Meditate and Give Your Brain a Break

When stress begins to build up and your brain starts to feel like crispy fried chicken, give yourself a break. Meditation and deep breathing exercises help clear the mind and relax the body.

         According to Jennifer Acosta Scott, author of the article “College Life: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress”, she writes, “ When you feel stressed, deep-breathing exercises can help melt away the tension. Try this exercise: Inhale slowly through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your mouth, and repeat as needed. This helps prevent the short, shallow breaths that often accompany feelings of tension.”

         Loosen up a bit and move around too. Take a 15 minute break and crank some music. Watch a YouTube video or two. Make some coffee. Stretch your poor, cramped legs. You’ll hit the books feeling more refreshed and less stressed.

  • Try to get some sleep

Yes, we’ve all experienced our fair share of all-nighters. Despite what many health articles say against them, I will still be pulling 36-hour-days, scrambling to get a paper done. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best way of going about studying or writing papers, so if you want to stay ahead of the game, sleep!

         According to Diana Rodriguez, author of the article “10 Tips for Better Sleep at College”, she writes, “Good sleep can boost your cognition, or thinking skills, and memory — and bad or insufficient sleep can worsen them. Staying up all night to cram for a test may be doing more harm than good: The effects of sleep deprivation may offset the benefits of all that extra studying into the wee hours of the morning.”