5 Scientifically Proven Ways to De-Stress & Increase Productivity During Finals

This finals week, don’t just survive — thrive.

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5 ways to de stress and improve productivity during finals week

If you’ve been pulling out your hair and chewing your nails off at the thought of studying for finals, you’ve come to the right place. Check out the College Fashion guide to surviving the toughest academic week of the year!

(Also relevant: 5 Easy Ways to Cope with Career-Induced Stress and 15 Proven Ways to Destress When it Feels Like the World is Ending.)

1. Listen to Mozart, Beethoven, or video game music.

As reported by Psych Central, scientific studies have found that listening to music on headphones can reduce anxiety and improve one’s  mood. If you do opt for the music treatment, we suggest you choose classical music or acoustic; songs with words can take your attention away from what you’re actually studying.

This Guardian article even suggests using video game soundtracks to stimulate your mind without distracting it. Now, we’re not saying that listening to Grand Theft Auto V will help your test scores — but it can’t hurt, can it?

2. Color your way to peaceful paradise.


PRODUCTS: Prismacolor Colored Pencils – Amazon | Timeless Colored Pencils – Staples | Pusheen Coloring Book – Barnes & Noble | Harry Potter Coloring Book – Michaels | Stress-Free Coloring Book – Barnes & Noble | Creative Cats Coloring Book – Barnes & Noble

Yes, that’s right: This finals week, we’re encouraging you to take out your colored pencils and scribble away! Let your inner child freak out at the thought of new books, and indulge your creativity with an old-fashioned coloring challenge. By the time you’ve completed an inky masterpiece, you’ll be all set to tackle your final essay.

Not the traditionalist? A list of coloring book apps can be found here.

3. Go out for a run.


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Turns out there’s a reason Claire Underwood from House of Cards loves running so much, and it’s all about brain chemistry. According to researchers at Princeton University, regular exercise (like jogging around the neighborhood once a day) can help to calm anxiety.

So the next time your Stats exam makes you like crawling under the covers and giving up, don’t. Instead, get up and start moving! Your body, and your brain, will thank you.

4. Take a bubble bath and recharge.


PRODUCTS: Rice Sake Bath – Sephora | Crème Brûlée Honey Bath – Sephora | Chanel N°5 Foaming Bath – Sephora | French Riviera Bath Fizzy – Bath & Body Works | Eucalyptus Spearmint Bath Soak – Bath & Body Works | Rosé Champagne Bath Fizzy – Bath & Body Works | Sex Bomb – Lush | Ickle Baby Bot – Lush | Golden Egg – Lush

I don’t know about you, but I always feel ready to get back to work once I’ve taken a luxuriously long bubble bath and put on a fresh change of clothes (usually my super comfy PJs!). Whether you whip out your favorite Lush bath bomb or prefer bathing sans foam and scent, the result is heated perfection.

And don’t despair if you’re living in a dorm or apartment with no bathtubs  — there’s a quick and easy alternative. Take a short nap (try to make it no longer than an hour) so that you can feel refreshed and revved up to go!

5. Watch TV *gasp*.

As a last resort, we’re letting you do the one thing you always want to do: Put on Netflix and chill — by yourself, with a big bag of chips by your side. Watch an episode of a lighthearted comedy (my personal Netflix recommendations are The Office, Scrubs, or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

Or, if you’re unwilling to commit to one episode, set your phone timer to 20 minutes and watch some funny Youtube videos instead. From Buzzfeed’s The Try Guys to hilarious cat compilations, you’ve got the whole of the internet to take your mind off of that History final.


Sometimes, it’s even good to get the ball rolling by unloading first! What exams are you studying for? What do you hope to accomplish with your final essays? Are you going anywhere over the summer — perhaps Florida?

Comment below, and don’t forget to share this article with your equally stressed-out friends. We’re all in this together, fam.

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