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EDITORIAL: Overcoming this final stretch of stress

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Stress and anxiety are an everyday part of student life. But with the final weeks of school upon us, there are more triggers than ever to make students feel stressed. The Lumberjack knows several tips to ensure that you perform your best in the last days of the semester.

It’s easy to neglect the self and only focus on the tasks you’ve been assigned. Although your projects and homework are important, it’s critical to consider your physical and mental health as you finish up the semester.

Many CSU students struggle with getting enough sleep. Exhaustion makes it harder to maintain a low level of stress, and higher levels of stress make it difficult to sleep, so the cycle continues.

Make sure to get enough sleep during the final weeks, as insufficient amounts will affect your performance on final projects and exams. It’s counter-intuitive to sleep less while trying to get more done, as the quality and speed of work will be lower than if you had enough sleep.

If you’re having trouble relaxing your mind and body to sleep, an effective, healthy method to calm yourself is drinking a mug of hot herbal tea. Not all teas will help you sleep, though. The best teas for relaxation and sleep are herbal teas like lavender, chamomile, peppermint and Valerian root.

Caffeine is a popular choice for college students when it comes to finals week studying. While a cup or two of coffee can definitely enhance focus and drive to complete a tedious task, it can also have unpleasant side effects, especially when too much is taken quickly. It’s especially important to moderate your caffeine levels during these busy times.

Think for a second, is that fourth cup of coffee or second yerba mate tea really worth it? Too much caffeine can cause extreme anxiety and restlessness, making it even harder to stay mentally healthy during these last weeks. Drinking caffeine too late in the night can also make it difficult to get quality sleep, making challenging finals even more intense.

Just because finals are here doesn’t mean school is all you should focus on. It’s smart to take breaks and have time to yourself, where your studies aren’t the priority. It’s unrealistic to think we can devote all our time and energy into academia. Treat yourself to something nice and relaxing, especially if your anxiety levels are soaring through the roof.

Remember folks, it’s not the end of the world and you can get through this. Moderate your caffeine consumption, do something nice for yourself and don’t forget to breathe. It will be over before you know it!

For additional stress relief, in the coming week HSU will be hosting a few different events throughout campus including a game night, the annual pancake dinner and therapy dogs visiting the library.

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