Stress Less: 8 Easy Ways to Calm Your End of Semester Jitters

It’s that time of the semester when you have projects, final tests and presentations due and not nearly enough hours in the day to do them. Many of us will inevitably experience a little bit of stress in our lives as we scramble to get everything done. Some stress is good. Research has shown that it can actually make us more productive, creative and fit. Yet too much stress in our lives can cause a number of health problems. To help you through the end of the semester, I’ve compiled a list (and links) of tried and true stress busters. Relax, study, and enjoy!

1.) Smell this.

Take a whiff of some of these calming scents such as coconut lavender and chocolate to slow down your heart rate and help you to refocus on your studies. Try scented candles or even a bath with a homemade scented sugar scrub.


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2.)    Eat this.

Yes, eating some foods is linked with lower levels of anxiety. Refocus your energies with healthy options such as avocados in your salad or in your homemade guacamole, rich in Vitamin B for your nerves and for energy. Blueberries are beneficial for Vitamin C and cell health and repair, and a warm bowl of oatmeal can help release calming serotonin in your brain and keep you full throughout your study session.

3.)    Try these yoga poses.

Yoga allows us to stop and refocus for a few minutes on our inner strength by practicing calming deep breathing, and working on balance and flexibility. If you think you’re not coordinated enough for yoga, give the above link with helpful pictures a try. I have absolutely no hand eye coordination and was able to complete the sequence! Need some music? Pandora actually has a generic yoga station to help you get in the zone.

4.)    Sleep!

Sometimes its more effective to put the book down and get your Zzz’s. Lack of sleep creates anxiety, mood swings, and memory issues.

5.)    Hug it out.

Hugging your loved ones actually has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce cortisol (a bad stress-induced hormone), and release endorphins.

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6.)    Exercise!

Even a quick twenty minute sweat session can relieve tension headaches, release endorphins and help you to refocus.

7.)    Adjust your sails.

Its OK to have goals, but sometimes situations encountered in life are out of our control. A loved one dies, your car breaks down or a group project isn’t coming together as smooth as you had hoped. Recognizing what you can control and that life is not perfect is a good reminder to combat stress.

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8.)    Laugh!

Find the humor in everyday life. You woke up so late that you ended up wearing two different colored socks or your shirt is inside out. Laugh at yourself.  Watch a humorous sitcom or SNL skit. Laughing is good for the soul: its calming, reduces cortisol and epinephrine, boost your immune system, and allows you to cope with situations you cannot control.

After you have taken a break and tried some of these stress busters, make sure you study!! Enjoy!  😛


About the author


Major: Physical Therapy (DPT)
Where I’m from: Buffalo, NY
When I graduate: I’d like to work in a clinical setting, focusing on pediatrics and women’s health.

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