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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Tingle

5 Ways To Deal With Stress During Finals

Overwhelmed with school, work, and life in general? Me too. It’s that time of the year when finals are rapidly approaching, the holidays are coming, and our to-do lists are overflowing. We are students at the University of Colorado, and just remember, you are not alone! Here are 5 ways to deal with stress this holiday season:


Before getting to work, it’s important to make sure that you are physically feeling good too! Along with being physically healthy, working out and being active can also help your mental health! This doesn’t mean you have to do some intense workout, it just means to add movement to your day! Here are some ideas for low impact movement to get you started:

  • Do some yoga with this cool eco-friendly cork yoga mat

  • Go for a walk (brownie points if you take a dog with you, extra brownie points if you take your cat!)

  • Take a stretch break (no really, this helps!!!)

  • Go for an easy hike- as CU Boulder students, Chautauqua Park is our go-to

  • Kettle Bell Swings (This is Austin's go-to work out!)

man with black hair and black backpack and khaki shorts hiking in the mountains in washington state, pacific northwest on 35 mm film


As well as being active, sleep is also very important- make sure you get enough of it.!It affects your cognitive ability, mood, energy levels, and productivity. You can improve your quality of sleep by:

  • Avoid technology use 30 minutes before bed- give your brain a break from overstimulation

  • Avoid caffeine or large meals 30 minutes before going to bed- it will wake you up!

  • Take a nap! Listen to what your body is telling you.

  • Keep your bedroom dark and quiet and at the preferable temperature to help you sleep more soundly. Invest in these affordable black out shades and these ear plugs to block out your annoying roommates!

  • If earplugs aren't your style, try using a white noise maker! Nights when I have trouble falling asleep, white noise is one of the only things to help me finally drift off. The white noise keeps my brain from running crazy and provides a sense of comfort.


Obviously, it is very important to get the work done that you need to but my motto has always been work hard, play hard. Making time for the activities and people you enjoy can refuel and refresh you when you're feeling stressed and unmotivated. It’s only fair that when you must work you must get some sort of reward as well.

  • Read your favorite book before bed. Need a new read? Check out our poetry books, Critters Who Care and What If !

  • Reading before bed wasn't enough? Try journaling! We have created the cutest journals for you- check out all of them here!

  • Grab a meal with a friend- treat yourself to some ice cream!

  • Take a vacation after all the projects are done. Better yet, put on your favorite fuzzy socks, light a candle, and take a staycation.


Bottling up emotions, especially stress, can’t do anything but harm you and others around you in the long run. Try reaching out to a family member or friend to talk about your struggles with. This can lead to support and comfort during a time when it feels like you are in a dark whole all alone.


Lastly, when dealing with stress in your life, take a moment to slow down and take a step back. When you have multiple projects at once, it doesn’t help to hurry through all of them because I know a sense of incompleteness and guilt is left afterwards. Instead try this:

  • Create a to-do list and take it one step at a time.

  • Ask questions.

  • Ask for help.

  • Remember what matters in life. Grades will never trump family and important relationships in your life.

long exposure photo by victoria leen of a girl under the night sky and stars with a headlamp looking up at an old white cabin on a rocky cliff in the state of washington, pacific northwest on 35mm film


Stress is something that everyone goes through and it’s something that everyone copes with differently. It’s important to be aware of how you best cope with stress so you can do so in a healthy way. Use these 5 steps and remember, all of this isn’t going to matter in 5 years! Take a moment and breathe! It will all be okay!

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