A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and MA in Counseling with specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Tamar Cassell:
End of the fall semester always feels like a complete whirlwind—finals, papers, presentations, holiday parties, gearing up to visit family, and so much more. During such chaotic, but also festive and exciting times, how does one stay balanced? As graduate students, how do we get through finals without feeling like the world is falling upon us, or that all we can think about is hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps? Here are some tips.
- Try and do one thing each day to stay in the present—whether that be a hike, yoga, leaving your phone behind as you go for a ten-minute walk, or simply a stroll on the beach; I have found that it is much easier to focus on finals if I can truly absorb the material and be present with the work. Easier said than done, but usually allocating some “me” time to recenter helps!
- Self-care, both physically and emotionally. Sometimes in the midst of presentations and papers, I can get so wrapped up and forget about the little things, like lunch or breakfast. Listen to your body, and always make time for yourself!
- Use checklists. Everyone has a different way of reminding themselves of important deadlines or balancing time management, but for me, seeing the tangible check marks for work completed truly feels like an accomplishment, and one less thing to do.
- As the fall semester is such a hectic time for all, reflect and look back on all that you have achieved this semester. What were the highlights? In what moments did you feel proud of yourself? Where has your work shined through? This could be in the classroom, in your office, at home, outside of the classroom, or beyond. At the end of the year, it can be empowering to remember where you’ve been, and where you are now. Stay true to yourself, and Happy New Year!