Here's your guide to managing final exam stress

Here's your guide to managing final exam stress

Well, here we are again — it's back to the sleepless nights, sweaty palms and increased coffee intake of exam season. If you find yourself slipping into unhealthy habits while trying to maintain that ideal GPA, consider stepping out of the library and taking a little bit of time to de-stress. Here are some ideas for a quick study break between cramming sessions.

Stretch the Stress Away 

Sometimes, all you need is a little peace and quiet to relax away life’s many stresses. Luckily, the University offers free yoga classes through the Rec Center. There are a variety of classes offered throughout the week including Gentle Yoga, Mat Pilates and Friday Yoga Flow. If you’d like to check out a yoga studio, Yoga Bliss in Tuscaloosa offers warm yoga, restorative yoga and even chair yoga for those with disabilities. Their drop-in cost is $15 per class, although larger packages can be purchased. You can visit or for more information.

Jog off the Jitters

A breath of fresh air can often lift the spirits. Nature's healing properties are effective whether you plan to run, walk, hike or just sit for a while. The River Walk is only a hop, skip and a jump away, and it offers scenic views as well as a lengthy paved trail. So, consider jogging down to the river, hanging up your Eno and unwinding by the gently lapping water. Of course, the Tuscaloosa area has no shortage of outdoorsy spots. Among them are Sokol Park, the Arboretum or the Hurricane Creek Trail. Each offers a different type of scenery and routes that are just long enough to get your mind off tests and papers. For more information on trails, you can check out

The Silver Screen and the Stage

There’s nothing like a movie to get your mind in a different place. Plus, if you’d rather your mind be in the jungle with Kevin Hart, University Programs is showing "Jumanji" for free in the Ferg Theatre from 6-7 p.m Friday, April 12. As usual, a casual night with Netflix and some microwave popcorn or an evening watching a blockbuster at Cobb Theaters is always available. Or, if you’re in the mood for some live entertainment, consider grabbing tickets for the latest UA Theatre and Dance productions, "I Gelosi" or "Sweeny Todd." Either way, a night viewing the arts is always a great way to melt away anxieties and travel off to a new and interesting place.

Pal around with a Pup

Due to their often traumatic histories, shelter dogs deal with a great deal of stress, as well. The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter allows patrons 18 and older to check dogs out for an afternoon and play with them for both the mental health of the canine and the person. Dogs can be checked out for free from 12 p.m.– 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. But wait, there’s more: the dogs aren’t allowed on the University of Alabama’s campus, so you’ve got a great excuse to escape the walls of academia for a few hours. For more information, visit

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