Stress-Relieving Tips, Just in Time for Finals Season

It’s finals season! Between studying and looking for summer jobs, this time of year can be very stressful for any student. Check out these tips from on how to avoid stress and frustration while studying:

Listen to classical music
Why? Think classical music is just for band geeks and grandmas? Think again. Yes, listening to piano pieces versus loud rap music has been suggested by “The Doctors” TV show to improve a person’s focus and help with relaxation. Just sit down, breathe deeply and play some Mozart.

“When I listen to classical and contemporary I feel relaxed and motivated,” says Huntley senior Yaresti Pena. “It is slow, soothing and lovely music.”

Why? Going for a run or walking your dog around the neighborhood doesn’t sound appealing in this chilly weather. But sitting for long hours at a time staring your notes calls for a break. Your body will eventually need some form of exercise. Short 10-minute exercise breaks are beneficial periodically when studying. You can jog up and down your stairs or get zen with some yoga poses. You can also check out On Demand workouts on TV or free exercise videos on YouTube.

Snack on bananas and blueberries—away from your books
Why? It’s difficult to focus when your stomach is grumbling. Dropping the books and heading to the kitchen for a fruit or vegetable snack can help your concentration—something that is essential when studying. While eating junk food may seem like the easiest alternative to quiet your stomach, eating blueberries ranks among the top-10 healthiest foods to eat during exams according to According to, bananas supply potassium to make you more alert. Both fruits are recommended for learning and retaining information.
“They help me when I’m studying for a big exam,” says Vernon Hills senior Thalia Uriostegui.

Clean up
Why? Cleaning is probably the last thing on your mind while studying, but besides having a shiny, clean room, cleaning serves as a stress management technique, according to Prevention magazine. All that stress accumulated by intense studying has to let out in some form and moving around will serve both as light exercise and a way to reduce anxiety by getting those endorphins going.

If a full night’s sleep isn’t an option, try short naps throughout the night
Why? If you’re studying for various subjects on the same day, you might be thinking about pulling an all-nighter. A study by the National Sleep Foundation estimates that only 20 percent of teenagers get the recommended nine hours of sleep. While not recommended, sometimes all-nighters simply can’t be avoided. The best way to still get some form of sleep is to take 30-minute naps every two to three hours throughout the course of the night. Set an alarm to wake yourself up.

Meditation is also a great way to relieve stress, as well as taking a few hours of “personal time” to catch up with friends or relax. For more tips on beating the law school blues, check out this National Law Journal special report on law students and stress. Good luck with finals!

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