Soon it will be finals time again. The end of the semester can be extremely stressful. You often hear the terms “self-care” and “student wellness” during this time. It is important to take care of yourself, especially during times of high stress. Below you will find various tips and resources to help you stay well during times like this.
- Create a plan. Once you have an idea of what your finals schedule will look like create a study plan. Time management and planner suggestions can be found on the RWU Law Academic Success Resources page.
- Schedule in breaks. Taking breaks help relieve stress and help us retain information. One study shows that breaks can help increase productivity. These breaks can include exercise, self-reflection, spending time with or video chatting with family or a friend, or just watching an episode of your favorite show. Check out the Campus Recreation Center page to find out about exercise classes, fitness center and aquatics center hours. Also, see the Law Library Libguide on Stress Management, Mindfulness and Wellness to learn about putting some fun into your life and finding reflective spaces on campus.
- Listen to your body. Being focused on your studies may lead to not fulfilling your basic needs. Use the HALT method to address your needs. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. These four states can affect your mood and behavior, ultimately damaging you work.
- Are you Hungry - Make sure to eat while you are studying hard. Try to choose healthy foods that will improve your mood and give you energy. Food for Thought: 10 Tips for Better Nutrition in Law School offers 10 suggestions to help you maintain a healthy diet during law school.
- Stay hydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, muscle cramps, sleepiness, lack of energy, and irritability. To help you stay focused make sure to drink enough fluids and try to minimize caffeine intake. You can read more dehydration and concentration from the NPR article Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated.
- Are you Angry or Lonely? Try to identify why you are feeling this emotion so you can address it. Asking for help is difficult, but remember your family, friends, and the RWU Law community all want you to succeed. You may need to take a break or you may need to talk things through with a friend, family member, or someone else. The Counseling Center on campus is available on week days from 8:30am to 5:00pm and has services available when the center is closed. Visit their web page to find out more information.
- Are you Tired? You may be physically, mentally, and/or emotionally tired. Take a break; close your eyes and take a deep breath; go for a quick walk; grab a bite to eat; head to bed early and wake up ready to go. “’Cramming’ information and sleep deprivation reduce your academic performance.” This article in Vital Record from Texas A&M Health explains why an all-nighter will not help your academic performance.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It is important to figure out the best way for YOU to manage stress and maintain your wellness especially when you may feel overwhelmed.
Remember the Law Librarians are here to answer your questions or to help point you in the right direction just Ask a Librarian.
Good luck on your finals!Library Blog