Walk off your stress during finals, go outside


The Daily Illini File Photo

Sophomore Jacob Wargo walks out of Boneyard Creek wearing cowboy boots on Nov. 16, 2019. Students can relieve stress during finals week by taking a walk outside.

By Gwyn Skiles, Features Editor

Finals are stressful. But this year, they feel even more so.
Most students have been going full steam ahead since January. Not to mention during a pandemic where most activities and gatherings that relieve stress have been canceled.
Many scientific studies show that long-term stress weakens the immune system. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay healthy and safe.
To prevent illness and to get the final grades you desire, it’s important for students to take time for themselves. Block out at least an hour to lift your eyes from the computer screen.
The best thing you can do for yourself is spend time outside. Yes, it has been rainy. But grab an umbrella and go for a walk.
Or, wait until the rain stops and go for a walk. You might see a rainbow or notice new wildlife has grown.
Campus is beautiful during May. Trees are in full bloom, and there are tons of bunnies hopping around. The air smells sweet, and it’s not too cold outside.
Taking the time to enjoy your surroundings and exercise is vital to your studying process. Studies show that walking outside increases your endorphins. Endorphins help you remember information and build stamina to study longer.
If you’re inclined, ask a friend to walk with you. Maybe reach out ahead of time to make sure you both can work it into your schedules. Make sure it’s a friend you can relax with. You don’t want to get stressed about friend drama or get further distracted.
If you absolutely have no time to go for a walk, take a couple minutes to rest. Do jumping jacks in your room or take a 10-minute power nap.
While studying, listen to nature sounds. Believe it or not, they’re not just helpful for yoga. Look-up “nature sounds” on YouTube. It alerts the body into thinking you’re outside and provides a refreshing state of mind.
Try to sit outside and study. Grab your textbook and head for the quad. Find a nice bench outside of a building. Or grab a table by the Undergraduate Library.
Sit by a window. Allow yourself to watch the squirrels scamper and the birds chirp.
Oftentimes during finals week, students lose touch of their passions and the subjects they study feel like busy work.
So head outside, get some exercise, listen to your surroundings and you won’t regret it. Every student came to the University because they’re curious, ambitious and passionate. But the key to success is building breaks in your schedule and getting in touch with nature.

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