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How to make time for self-care

ASU student making time for wellness during finals week

At this point you’re probably thinking, “I’ll rest over winter break.” But while you may think that’s your only choice, we're here to tell you that it's not. We’re done with glorifying all-nighters and lack of self-care. You know what’s in now? Getting eight-hours of shut eye, taking regular breaks and still feeling ready for your exams.

If you’re thinking…

That’s impossible, I'm too busy.

It does require some pre-planning and compromises. You’ll have to account for your time, and make sure you really use your study time for studying, not sharing memes on the group chat. Your studying should be structured and planned out daily until the exam.

How will I know how much time I’ll actually need?

It will depend on each class and how you’ve been studying before this. If it’s a class you feel confident in and you’ve been studying for regularly all semester, you can likely allot less time to it than to your more difficult course.

Add in things like your work or internship schedule and any obligations on your calendar, like family events or student group meetings. You want to get as full a view of what you need to accomplish as possible. Check out our guide to tutoring while you’re planning and work in as many sessions as you can.

Okay, but when do I get to sleep?

You need to plan out your sleep schedule, too. That way you won’t have anything on your must-do list when you’re supposed to be catching zzz’s. Be sure you allow for the full eight hours of actual sleeping (that includes scheduling for the time it takes to fall asleep). If napping is how you relax, schedule yourself a few nap breaks, too.

What about other ways to relax?

That’s up to you! If your idea of relaxation is a quiet place to decompress, find a comfy spot and relax. If you relax by getting yourself moving, try dropping in on a virtual group fitness class at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex or schedule a physically-distanced lunch date with a friend. The most important thing is that you block out the time, and stick to keeping the time open for however you like to relax.

So ... when do I schedule these breaks?  

Look at where you have gaps. Do you have a few hours between some of your classes, or maybe a free evening a few times a week? Even if it’s only a few minutes, schedule a wellness break (check out this seven-minute stress-relieving yoga routine to get started). This will help you consciously remember to take a step back. Try installing a free meditation or mindfulness app on your phone so you can make the most of your moments.

Visit Live Well @ ASU for more ideas and information about how to support your wellness during finals season and all year long.


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ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.

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