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Coping with the stress of finals

The end of the term can feel like a pressure cooker for many students. However, there are many things students can do to help reduce their stress level during this time.

Sharpening students study skills is one way to help with the hustle and bustle of last minute papers and finals.

Jessica Cole, the receptionist at Portland State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), says that even though there are no particular programs offered during finals, there is help on site.

“There is always someone here to talk to,” Cole said.

CAPS is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CAPS is located in Smith Memorial Center M343.

Cole said that appointments are preferred, but there are

walk in slots available. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 503-725-4423.

There are several study habits students can incorporate in their own lives.

The first thing to do is to make a list in chronological order of assignments and exams and their due date. Also, write down the worth of all the assignments on the list. Check with your class syllabus if you are unclear.

It is important to weigh the impact of your assignments. For example, if an exam is only worth 10 percent of your grade, it is important to invest more time in writing a report worth 40 percent of your grade.

The instruction in the article is to write down on a calendar what to do each day. Students should set aside a specific time to study.

The article also covers the importance of a study space. If students do not have their own study space there are places all over campus for students to study.

Equipped with a calendar, notes, books and syllabi, it is time to get down to work.

Now, that the study habits are in order, it is time to focus on the body.

Even though alcohol may seem like a stress reliever, it is an artificial stress reducer, which can mask symptoms and often make symptoms worse.

While that pot of coffee may seem necessary for crunch time, excessive amounts of caffeine can increase anxiety. An alternative beverage is tea made with chamomile, passionflower or ginseng as some herbalists recommend.

Eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is suggested to consume foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and low in fat.

According to Cole an aerobic activity such as walking is good for helping to relieve stress. Get out in the park blocks and move. Exercise is said to help with stress. Check out the Peter Stott Center.

Aromatherapy can be tremendous help for alleviating stress. Putting five or six drops of lavender oil in a warm bath or put two or three drops on a cloth and inhale from time to time during the day can help.

There are other ways to beat stress include; deep breathing exercises, massage, guided imagery and a healthy sex life.

Before taking that final, take a deep breath and count to 10 before saying or doing anything. Taking a deliberate pause can be an instant tranquilizer, producing a calming effect.

Even though there is the possibility of having a lot of things due at once, it is important to not set unrealistic goals.

For more ways to maintain your heath and combat stress, check these Web sites: