Five Ways to Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Season

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Most students would agree that the end of a semester is a particularly hard time. Between last-minute assignments, final exams, and group project deadlines, it’s hard to stay sane, especially when coupled with quarantine. However, summer is just around the corner, and many Canfield BHP students have found ways to prioritize their mental health and stay motivated during finals season. Try out a few (or all!) of these tips and tricks to make the last couple weeks of school just a bit easier to manage.

1. Set a Schedule for Yourself
Many students have found that, because of quarantine, their routines and schedules have flown out the window. Now, more than ever, it’s difficult to focus on schoolwork and maintain the study habits that might be present while on campus. Canfield BHP junior Will Acheampong has found that structuring his days to be more like campus-life

“I know for myself it’s been tough to stay focused and on top of my work just because I’m at home with my parents and there are so many opportunities to not stay focused and really put in my best effort,” Will said. “I’ve been trying to structure my days in that I have certain hours I block off for classes and schoolwork and then other hours I have to do whatever I need to do for myself personally. By (doing this) I’ve been able to structure my life as I would if I had been at school.”

2. Prioritize Your Health and Wellness
This goes hand-in-hand with setting a schedule for yourself. Good nutrition and exercise habits are crucial for health, especially in times when the immune system might need to fight something. Canfield BHP junior Katelyn Anderson said a regular eating and exercise schedule has helped her manage life in quarantine.

“When this whole thing first started (during extended Spring Break), I kind of treated it as a big vacation.. there was no normalcy, no schedule,” she said. “I try to exercise and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the times where those should be eaten to make each day seem similar to the schedule that I had back when I was on campus.”

3. Know When To Take a Break
Finals season is about more than taking exams. It’s also about taking care of yourself– be sure to take some time to yourself and continue to do the things that make you happiest. Canfield BHP freshman Rajit Garg says he’s been staying motivated by making sure he finds time to do things that make him happy as well.

“I try and stay motivated in a few different ways,” he said, “The first one is just by producing music, one of my biggest hobbies. (Music is) something I know I can rely on to take me away from school and work and stuff like that.”

Rajit says he also has been going on runs and spending extra time with his family when he’s feeling stressed. Doing these little things has helped him focus on schoolwork when he needs to, so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. After all, study breaks are just as important as the grind.

4. Phone a Few Friends
While we might not be able to hang out on campus anymore, it only takes a second to scroll through your contacts and find a few friends to chat with during a much-needed study break. Canfield BHP sophomore Eri Adepoju said she tries to call a few friends a day, so she can keep up with them. She considers connecting with friends just as important as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“The transition to having classes online has not been easy for me, but I have been making sure to keep my physical, mental, and emotional health as a priority,” she said. “I make sure I eat three times a day, exercise or dance or move around at least once a day, and text or call my friends at least once a day, just so I’m not isolated.”

5. Take a Minute to Reflect
Of course, these tips might not be for everybody– every student is different, so it’s important to self-reflect and think about what might motivate you personally. Kisara Dang, a Canfield BHP freshman, said her self reflection has helped her manage the feeling of being cooped up at home. For Kisara, she found that using her Google Calendar and running have been the two best ways to stay motivated.

“I’ve been reflecting a lot on what motivates me personally,” she said. “I know if I schedule something in my Google Calendar I’m more likely to get it done, so I’ve been scheduling both work and workouts in my calendar… Running has been really helpful for my mental health. It’s been an escape for me to be able to run instead of sitting inside all day.”

Whether it’s using the G-Cal, going for a quick jog, chatting with a friend, or grabbing a bite to eat between assignments, remember to prioritize your mental health during this time of year and reflect on what motivates you to get through it all. Although it may feel like it, finals won’t last forever!

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