Ah, midterms. It’s that lovely time of year when our desks disappear under textbooks, our calendars are clogged with tests and essay deadlines and our free time dwindles down to meals and the occasional Netflix procrastination session. With all that work (and very little sleep), it’s no wonder we get so stressed this time of year.
While stress may seem like no big deal – something that will fade once midterms are over – the reality is that stress takes a serious toll on you and your body, and it can last. Take these steps to de-stress ASAP, before you experience the mental and physical fallout!
1. Do yoga
Getting your “om” on around midterms is an awesome way to let your worries go. Why? Well, when you loosen up your body and take the time to clear your mind – no papers, no deadlines, no fears of failure – you give yourself the space to unwind and regain some perspective. Plus, you can feel better knowing you’re taking care of yourself, which will make it much easier to buckle down when the time comes.
2. Work out
Not a zen kind of girl? Or just need to sweat out some stress? No worries – the gym will help with that! Kicking butt on the elliptical, swimming laps or doing any other highly physical activity will also help kick stress to the curb. Get those endorphins pumping to elevate your mood, and take a break from staring at your computer by giving yourself a change of scenery. Bonus points if you take your workout outdoors to breathe in some fresh air!
3. Set a curfew
Chances are if you’re staying up all hours to study, you’re going to feel the negative effects of your stress (and of sleep deprivation) even faster than your peers. Nighttime is your reboot time, and if you’re throwing off your sleep schedule, you’ll only compound your stress during the day. Set a reasonable curfew for yourself and vow not to break it; knowing that you’ll be hitting the hay at 10 p.m. will make you way less likely to procrastinate beforehand, so you’ll get your work done and give yourself the sleep you need to actually ace that test!
4. Don’t forget to have fun
All work and no play makes for a stressed and unhealthy collegiette, so balance out your books with some movie nights with your roomie or some cookie baking with your bestie. Treat yourself to some fun, and promise yourself to do it guilt-free. Once you return to your work, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle it. Plus, taking that time to pull away from your laptop screen will majorly minimize the chance of you straining your eyes and bringing on headaches, or worse, migraines if you are a migraine sufferer.
During periods of high stress migraine sufferers can see a spike in the number of migraines they experience, so be on the lookout for your triggers at all times especially midterm season!
According to the Millennial Migraine Report* commissioned by the makers of Excedrin® Migraine, only half of millennial migraine sufferers (including collegiettes like us) surveyed say they are trying to reduce their stress to better manage their migraines, which can be a problem for students who are migraine sufferers especially around stressful times like midterms. By taking the advice above - getting regular sleep, exercising and relaxing – sufferers can better manage their condition.
Additionally, since we know you’re never without your smartphone, migraine sufferers can download the My Migraine Triggers™ app from the makers of Excedrin® Migraine, which lets you track when you get your migraines and its potential triggers. It’s easy to use and you can print a log or share it with your doctor right from your iPhone! It’s free and available in the App store and Google Play Store.
Think you might suffer from migraines? Consult your healthcare professional and find more information on common symptoms. If used as directed, Excedrin® Migraine can provide relief for migraine sufferers. As with any medication, if you have any questions, contact your healthcare professional! Whatever you do to de-stress around midterms, make sure you have your mental and physical health in mind – not just your essay deadlines and research notes!
*Disclaimer: This article and its survey findings were made possible by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine. Respondents of the survey were diagnosed migraine sufferers. See your doctor for diagnosis of migraines and migraine treatment options.