Finals week. Students are pressured, overwhelmed. Many spend late nights in the library cramming for exams, their bodies fueled by caffeine-loaded beverages and sugary snacks, quick fixes for fatigue. Then there’s the inevitable crash, which leaves students even more stressed.

Staying healthy helps students perform better before and during exams, said Silas Steele, director of recreational sports. Exercise especially helps boost a student’s metabolism and energy for longer periods of time, and “being active not only helps you physically but mentally as well,” Steele said.

Experts in the Counseling and Wellness center likewise said the right balance is to eat healthy fppds, sleep well and to make time for exercise.
“Nutrients fuel the mind,” said Cedric Keys, a counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center at Xavier, because the brain requires quality nutrition to ensure optimum performance. Eating can help students focus before an exam as it enhances the student’s cognitive skills, Keys added.

Exercises, like those practiced in yoga, are offered on campus in the Convocation Center Annex, and can help reduce stress. The combination of stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation techniques, recharges the mind and body, Keys said. “Yoga is not only a form of mediation but it can help center yourself,” he added.

Trana Hopkins, a junior in public health at Xavier said that as an athlete she has seen where fitness has helped her to focus during finals week. “When finals come around, besides doing yoga, I relieve stress playing basketball in the gym and then studying in the locker room where I can be focused,” Hopkins said.
Besides activities to improve health, the office of student service will host events for students. For more information on managing stress students can visit the Counseling and Wellness Center in St. Joseph Student Academic and Health Center suite 202, or call 504-520-7315.

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