Exam season is undoubtedly a period of stress for all students. Lots of sleepless nights, trying to finish essays and cram those last few slides in can definitely take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. During these final few weeks of the semester, it’s more important than ever to be taking care of yourself but for many, self-care can fall quite low on the list of priorities when deadlines loom.
Mindfulness practices are undoubtedly a tried-and-true way of managing stress and encouraging mental well-being, but especially at such a high anxiety point of the semester, I sometimes find it hard to engage in traditional mindfulness practices such as meditation. For those of you who feel the same, I’ve listed below some ways of integrating mindfulness into my daily routine, that I can actually stick to.
1.Move your body!
Exercise has so many benefits, not only keeping you physically but also mentally well. Exercise releases endorphins, a mood booster, and can help you sleep and focus better to name a few of its positive effects. Even if traditional exercise in the form of gym training isn’t for you, I enjoy going for a walk with my headphones in, listening to a podcast or a soundtrack that relaxes me. Exercise allows you to detach from the stresses of school and purely connect with your body, a great way to actively practice being mindful by promoting body awareness and connection.
Journaling is a great way to check in with yourself, mentally. Sometimes we don’t realize just how stressed or anxious we are in the midst of the busy-ness of assignments and exams. Journaling in the mornings, in the evenings, or even throughout your day allows you to take a moment and really feel the emotions going on inside of you. It’s a simple task that allows you to become aware and mindful of your own mental state.
3.Find a routine
Exam season can be overwhelming. Having a routine can provide a sense of stability and something to rely on that can subsequently allow you to place more attention on the tasks at hand. You might even build some mindfulness practices into this routine, whether that’s 10 minutes of deep breathing before bed or a morning yoga session!
The most important thing during these high points of the semester is to remember to take care of yourself. These are practices that have helped me remain mindful during the end of the semester and have overall helped me manage my stress and anxiety. Experiment with different ways to integrate mindfulness into your routine, the most important thing is that it’s working for you. Good luck everyone!