Rest and relaxation: eight key tips on how to deal with stress after midterms

By Siobhan Elizabeth Ball

Elm Staff Writer

After the midpoint of the semester, many students feel overwhelmed and burnt-out. 

While these feelings often seem isolating, do not worry — you are not alone. It is very common to experience stress and anxiety after midterms, especially after all the hard work you have put into the first half of the semester. 

Here are some tips and tricks on how to manage your feelings.

Get organized

Writing a list of everything you hope to achieve and making a time line will help keep you on track. 

Whether you prefer making a physical to-do list or a digital one, writing down your tasks will visualize the work you need to do. By removing cluttered thoughts out of your system, you will steer clear of the temptation that is procrastination. 


Getting enough sleep is an important aspect of everyday life, and even more so when you are feeling stressed. 

According to The Sleep Foundation, the amount of nightly sleep needed varies from person-to-person, but healthy adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep.

Lack of sleep negatively impacts your ability to focus and worsens feelings of midterm-related anxiety. Keep this in mind when you are tempted to pull all-nighters. 

Take the time for self-care

Self-care should be a part of your everyday schedule, and it is even more important when the semester gets stressful. 

Whether that means watching your favorite movie, going for a walk, or journaling to express how you are feeling, taking care of yourself is crucial to avoiding burnout.

Speak out

Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Realizing that you need help is not a sign of weakness — it just means that you are human. Verbalizing why you are feeling stressed can alleviate any pressure that accumulates from schoolwork. 

Whether you speak to a friend or faculty member, getting those negative feelings off your chest is a great starting point for reaching a state of calm.  

Do not compare yourself

It can be easy to compare yourself to others when you are surrounded by so many people. You must remember that everyone is unique and has their own way of doing things. Different things work for different people; do not feel pressured by the strategies that someone else uses when they feel stressed. It is important that during this time you focus on yourself and do things that will benefit you. 

Eat well

Make sure to eat a balanced diet. When you feel under pressure, it is tempting to reach for comfort food. Sometimes, this is exactly what you need, but make sure to balance this out with food that will give you the nutrients you need to stay healthy and focused. 

Do not over-do the caffeine 

It may be tempting to skip a few hours of sleep and substitute this with caffeine, but this will not help you in the long run. It will make you feel jittery and on edge, which is the last thing you want when there are due dates on the horizon.

If you feel like you need a burst of energy, try and reach for natural remedies like drinking water, going for a brisk walk, or eating a few squares of dark chocolate.

Remember what you are working towards

Things may feel difficult right now, but you must remember why you are here at college. You are working towards something, whether you know what that is right now or not. 

Whether it is a specific career you have in mind or you just want to get through these four years to achieve a degree, keep these thoughts in the back of your mind when you feel like things are getting tough. 

The key thing to remember during this stressful time is that almost everyone on campus is feeling the same way. Make sure to remember that if you feel that you need help, there is always someone there to listen.  For further resources, reach out to the Wellness Advocacy Coaches at (410)-778-6118, or the Health and Counseling Services at (410)-778-2800.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *