Staying Healthy During Finals

As finals near and winter weather approaches, don’t forget to take time to focus on your overall well-being and staying healthy. When you’re working hard on schoolwork, allotting time for anything else is far from a priority. But if you’re not taking care of you, it makes concentrating on your work and giving it your all an arduous task. With numerous projects, homework assignments, and preparation for final exams, remember to pencil in some time to attend to your physical and mental health.

Besides increasing cardiovascular health, building muscle, and keeping you in shape, exercise also assists with alleviating stress and anxiety, boosting brainpower, and kick-starting your endorphins, which make you feel happy. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests daily exercise as a means to manage or reduce stress. Exercising each day naturally produces stress-relieving hormones in your body, which allows you to feel less overwhelmed and more capable of concentrating on your work. Whether you enjoy running, biking, lifting, playing a sport, or walking around town, schedule time each day for it. Get moving and pull yourself away from the books and laptop and you’ll surely reap the benefits. You’ll not only feel good physically, but your mind will be relaxed and ready for another study session.

Another tool to keep your head in the game during finals is meditation. Meditation is an ambiguous field and can take many different forms. The amount of time spent, desired environment, and whether it’s done solo or in a group setting are all up to the individual. You create your own practice however it works best for you. According to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, Italian neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni compared brain patterns of people who have established meditation practices to those who do not. Through his research, he discovered that the individuals who meditated had better control over wandering minds and improvements in cognitive performance. Try a basic meditation 101 for beginners or, my favorite, Mindvalley’s Omvana meditation app.

When you get burnt-out from studying, take a few minutes to research and explore meditation techniques. Hop on the treadmill or take a stroll around your neighborhood to get your heart rate up. Not only will you possess a more relaxed, decluttered mind, but you’ll also be more focused and mentally prepared. Find what works best for you, ace your finals, and feel good mentally and physically!

Photo by Eva Triznova on flickr