Self-Help: Ways to Destress Before Finals


That time of year is coming again – Finals. The week of school when kids go through endless stress and throw themselves into textbooks for hours. If you are someone who experiences an immense amount of stress and anxiety during or before finals season, or before tests in general, you are not alone. Researchers conducted a survey of 1,000 students and proved 31 percent of students said out of all anxiety-inducing situations, finals were their top stressor (Peters para. 3). That raises the question: How can you reduce the amount of anxiety you face before or during finals season?

The first step to lowering test anxiety would be to study. Despite its seemingly obvious appearance, it is often done incorrectly. The Princeton Review says that “if you feel confident that you’ve prepped thoroughly, you’ll feel more confident walking into the test” (para 5). High-school students have a tendency to procrastinate, leaving all their work to the very last minute. Due to this, an increase in stress is bound to happen. 

Say you’ve already studied the amount you feel is good enough, and you’re still stressed. What do you do now? A simple answer is meditation. After analyzing 200 studies on mindfulness, meditation has been proven to be “especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety and depression” (“Mindfulness Meditation: A Research-Proven Way to Reduce Stress” para. 9). Even if you aren’t stressed out for finals, long-term meditation can help your body physically and mentally in the long run. 

Another easy method for reducing finals stress would be to consume nutritious foods. Eating nutritional food “regulates anxiety disorders by influencing the microbiome and inflammation” (Nortwitz para. 43). These nutrition-dense foods could range from fruits and vegetables to grains and dairy. Eating nutritious foods has many benefits like reducing your stress levels and keeping your body healthy.

To summarize, lowering finals anxiety can be reduced to three helpful methods – studying, meditating, and eating nutritious food. Don’t forget to prioritize your health and good luck with finals season! 

Works Cited

“Mindfulness Meditation: A Research-Proven Way to Reduce Stress.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 30 Oct. 2019. 

Norwitz, Nicholas G., and Uma Naidoo. “Nutrition as Metabolic Treatment for Anxiety.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 20 Jan. 2021.

Peters, Abbey. “Final Exams and Stress: Tips for Final Exam Success.” The Bruin News, 11 May 2021. 

“10 Ways to Overcome Test Anxiety.” The Princeton Review.