Campus photo showing students walking down Diversity Way

by F. RODRIGUEZ | Tuesday, Dec 03, 2019

With finals coming up and deadlines approaching, students spend these demanding days struggling to balance a healthy schedule with crunching academic deadlines. Recognizing methods to reduce the amount of stress and being mindful of the importance of mental wellness is crucial. Cherilyn Bean, Coordinator of Mental Health and Wellness at FAU’s Owls Care Health Promotion, recommends these five quick stress relieving tips to get FAU students through finals week.

    A fast way to help calm our bodies when we feel overwhelmed is to practice deep breathing. This helps to increase gas exchange in our bodies and allows for optimal functioning. When breathing, try putting one hand on your chest and one hand just below your ribs. The hand on your ribs should be going up and down as you breathe. You can also try breathing in for 5 seconds and breathing out for 5 seconds. The main goal is to breathe deeper and longer than you usually do.

  2. MOVE
    Moving can help our bodies to release endorphins, which help us to feel better. Taking a quick walk around campus, dancing in your room, swimming, doing a group fitness class at the Recreation and Fitness Center are all great ways to help stimulate these feelings. You are not limited to only one type of activity – have fun with it!

    Eating balanced meals throughout the day can help us to regulate our energy levels. This comes in handy when we have a full schedule, especially around finals, so that we won’t feel tired or unable to concentrate. Packing snacks, setting meal times, and limiting distractions are helpful ways to reduce stress around meal times. Want to try out a new place to eat around campus? Here is a map with all the spots where you can take a break and grab a snack.

  4. SLEEP
    When we feel tired, it can worsen our stress levels and vice versa. Getting a full 7-9 hours of sleep will help to combat that midday fatigue. Unwinding before bed also helps to fall asleep faster. Doing an activity that you enjoy and isn’t too stimulating, such as reading a book, listening to soft music, and stretching will help your body and mind get ready for bed. Find a place to nap around campus.

    Taking breaks throughout the day is crucial to managing stress regularly. During finals we may be tempted to spend all day or night studying, but this puts our bodies through a constant stress response. We want to give our bodies regular breaks in order to get back to normal functioning. Breaks can look like a quick walk around the library, catching up with friends over lunch, doing a 5 minute meditation, and many other activities. Do something that gets your mind off of school and work for at least a few minutes.

    For more information on ways to reduce stress, visit Owls Care Health Promotion or stop by the office located in Student Services Bldg. SS-8, Room 222 (above the breezeway food court) open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Think you need to talk to someone? The center of Counseling And Psychological Services provides FAU students with timely and effective mental health services that allow them to improve and maintain their mental well-being and therefore to meet their educational, personal, emotional, and psychological goals.