Relax! 4 Ways to Keep Your End-of-Semester Anxiety to a Minimum

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It’s getting close to the end of the school year, and everything seems to be coming at us all at once. There are so many things to do: deciding which classes to take next year, figuring out summer jobs and internships, plus all those last presentations and exams that are just right around the corner.

Given all of these factors, it's easy to see how some people would feel anxious over all of the things that need to get done in such a short amount of time! But anxiety isn’t something to take lightly - it can interfere with your ability to sleep, give you an upset stomach, and create other health problems.

However, the stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you - we're here to help! Here are some tips to help get you through the last few weeks of school with your nerves in tact:

1. Prepare accordingly.

You know what they say: The best defense is a good offense. Don’t want to stay up until 5 am working on a 15-page paper? Then start it two or three weeks ahead of time and keep on schedule. This way, you won’t find yourself as overwhelmed by that last-minute pile up while still getting everything done on time!

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2. Distract yourself.

The worst thing about anxiety is that the more you think about it, the worse that feeling seems to get. Taking breaks and reminding yourself that this too will pass are two ways to make yourself less anxious over a situation.

When you notice yourself starting to get worked up over the sheer amount of work you have left to do, just take your mind off of the issue and take a walk, play some loud music, or even watch a YouTube video. Taking a break from your work - and your anxious thoughts - will be better for you in the long run.

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3. Remember to take care of yourself.

In my past CF posts, I’ve mentioned some other healthy habits to try and adopt: meditation, eating healthy snacks, drinking tea, etc. Don’t neglect them now that you’re close to being done!

Your body is most susceptible to illness when you’re tired, malnourished, and otherwise unhealthy, and being anxious is no exception. It is much easier to remind yourself that everything will get done in time when you have gotten enough sleep as opposed to when you're completely exhausted.

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4. Remember: It’s only as bad as you make it.

Sometimes our own thoughts are worse than any actual situation could ever be. Thoughts about incompetence, embarrassment, and other negative events can make an otherwise mild situation far more difficult to manage. So remember: things are only as bad as you perceive them to be.

If you do find yourself thinking the worst, take a page from cognitive-behavioral therapy, a therapy technique commonly used in combating mental illnesses, and address negative thoughts as they come for what they are - just thoughts, not reality. Realizing how we react both emotionally and physically to our environments as a consequence of these thoughts, and making steps towards changing these behaviors are some of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety.

What do you think?

How are you dealing with end-of-the-year stress? Are you an anxious person in general? If not, how do you prevent yourself from becoming too stressed out? What are your favorite things to do to make yourself less anxious over school, work, etc.? Leave me a comment and let me know!