Overwhelmed by a stressful semester and too much work? Wondering how you’re going to make it through the last few weeks before finals? Here are four ways to finish the semester strong:
1) Give yourself a good reason. I’m not going to suggest to you that it’s time to get pumped up about all the work you have ahead of you. Let’s be real. But if you’re an expert at telling yourself why you shouldn’t do your work, maybe now’s a good time to change the script. Start by paying attention to what goes through your mind when you consider doing schoolwork. Some examples:
Some ideas for more useful self-talk messages:
Catch the negative thoughts when they occur and replace them with new beliefs. With practice, you'll have more useful beliefs without having to implement them intentionally.
2) Show anxiety who’s boss. If you’re avoiding schoolwork, worrying about it, and feeling tense because of it, staying calm and productive will be tough. Instead of doing things that escalate anxiety, do the opposite.
3) Get a study buddy. Corny word choice aside, working with a classmate or a friend has many benefits. Scheduling time to study with another person works because
4) Use problem-focused coping strategies. When things get stressful, activities that give you a short-term break might seem like the answer. Emotion-focused coping strategies can make you feel better for a few hours, which is why it’s so easy to turn to things like exercise, napping, watching TV, creative work, visiting friends, eating junk food, or drinking beer (of course, some of these are better choices than others). But when you have papers and projects to complete and final exams looming, the work needs to get done at some point. Don't forget to use problem-focused coping strategies to stay on track: