Staff ed: How to take care of yourself during finals

Self-care is more than a buzzword for indulging in a pint of ice cream after a breakup—it’s a way to try to maintain a sense of well-being. As a way to help, here are the Editorial Board’s tips for self-care for finals week.

Eat fruits and vegetables

There have definitely been days when my diet consisted of three spoonfuls of Nutella, a cookie from Cafe Bergson and a candy bar. On these days, I’ve noticed something: I feel bad. (Read: like I need to either eat a whopping pile of kale or take a 15-hour nap.) Remember to eat some healthy foods this finals season to keep your mind and body alert. —Ella Chochrek, Editor-in-Chief

Exercise

Wait, don’t stop reading! I know it’s pretty much the last thing anyone wants to do during finals. It’s easy to think you don’t have time, but just a few minutes a day can help propel you through exams. It’ll get your blood pumping, set a tone for studying and act as the perfect de-stressor. A break to re-energize the body can do just as much for the mind. —Rohan Gupta, Senior Sports Editor

Eat more than just Subway on the weekends

The lack of weekend food options on Danforth Campus can lead to a dangerous pattern of reliance upon Subway sandwiches to avoid walking to other eateries. However, a 10-minute walk can be revitalizing. Better yet, take a break while you eat. It’s tempting to bring a meal to Olin Library, but ultimately you won’t get much work done while eating anyway. —Ali Gold, Senior Cadenza Editor

Put on a face mask

Whether you’re celebrating turning in a final paper, or you’re starting at 2 a.m., applying a face mask is the ultimate DIY “treat yo’ self” strategy. You can easily make one yourself with ingredients like oatmeal, bananas and honey. Don’t let the perceived gender associations of using face masks stop you, either: anyone can enjoy the silky smooth, moisturized skin that comes with this lazy (but indulgent) activity. —Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor

Take a shower

It doesn’t matter whether you think you need one—although you might after spending 12 straight hours in Olin Library. A shower forces you to leave your screens and just think peacefully for 15 minutes. Plus, you walk out feeling clean, refreshed and ready to tackle whatever is on your plate. Just don’t slip.
—Aaron Brezel, Managing Editor

Get a flu shot

There are few things worse to a college student than drowning under a pile of work, and one of those things is drowning under a pile of work while you have the flu. I was able to book a next-day flu shot appointment and was finished in under 20 minutes, leaving with a much stronger immune system than I had when I walked in. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and your Olin Library neighbors will thank you. —Aidan Strassmann, Senior Forum Editor

Run errands

When we get stressed out about finals, we tend to prioritize frantic studying over anything else. This creates a situation where everything feels like it’s crumbling around you because you’ve stopped doing the most basic things that keep your life together. So yeah, go get groceries, a haircut, an oil change. Do the mindless things you need to keep your life in order. —Wesley Jenkins, Director of Special Projects

Read something that’s actually fun

If you’re like me, the next two weeks will be full of poring over dry scholarly articles for quotes. It will be easy to forget that words can actually be fun…but they can! Take the chance to reread your favorite short story, something silly on the internet or anything just to break the monotony. —Jon Lewis, Senior Sports Editor

Take mini breaks

At a certain point, looking at the same textbook or hundred lines of code becomes unproductive. I like to schedule two hour-ish chunks of time for a subject before switching over to another one—preferring to do a bit of everything instead of tiring myself out. But the crucial bit here is to give yourself a quick break in between. Watch a TV show, eat some candy, call your mom—the possibilities are endless; just give your brain a break.—Noa Yadidi, Managing Editor

Try to get some sleep!

Especially during finals week, it can be tempting to burn the midnight oil in order to fit in more time to study. But ultimately, you’ll retain information better if your brain isn’t struggling to stay awake. I know eight hours can be hard to get even during the normal semester, but avoiding all-nighters is a start. —Elizabeth Grossman, Copy Chief