Navigating the storm: A guide to coping with finals and holiday stress

As we find ourselves at the crossroads of finals and the holiday season, it’s only natural to feel a surge of stress and pressure. Balancing exams, assignments and the excitement (or stress) of the holidays can be challenging. But fear not! We’re here to offer some guidance on not only surviving but thriving during this demanding time.

Embrace self-care: Mind, body and soul

As the pressure mounts, it becomes crucial to prioritize self-care. Adequate sleep, balanced nutrition and regular exercise contribute significantly to your overall well-being. Consider taking a moment between study sessions to stretch or take a walk. Don’t underestimate the power of a few deep breaths to clear your mind.

Manage your time

Create a realistic study schedule that allows for breaks. Separate your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and reward yourself when you achieve each milestone. Remember, it’s not about the quantity of hours you put in but the quality of your study sessions.

Leverage campus counseling services

Black Hawk College cares about your mental health. If the stress feels overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. We provide counseling services to help you navigate the emotional challenges that may arise during this time. Making a counseling appointment is simple and can be a crucial step in managing stress.

Wendy Bock, BHC counselor, in her office

“During this busy time, it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s okay to feel stressed. Give yourself and those around you some grace, and remind yourself that you will get through this,” says Wendy Bock, BHC counselor.

Take advantage of TimelyCare telehealth services

As a Black Hawk College student, you have access to TimelyCare telehealth services, even during breaks. This invaluable resource, provided by Counseling Services, includes:

Medical (24/7): On-demand or scheduled access to a medical provider for common illnesses like cold and flu, sinus infections, allergies and more.

TalkNow (24/7): On-demand access to a mental health professional to talk about anything at any time. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.

Scheduled counseling: Book appointments to meet with a licensed counselor, with a limit of six per year. This can provide ongoing support and strategies for managing stress.

Psychiatry: Scheduled appointments are available through a campus counseling referral. Sometimes, a consultation with a psychiatrist can offer valuable insights and support.

Free classes: Attend wellness-oriented sessions such as yoga, meditation and more. These classes can be a great way to unwind and refocus your mind.

Connect with peers

You’re not alone in feeling the stress of finals and the holiday hustle. Connect with your peers on campus in places like the library to share experiences, study together or even just chat about common concerns. Support from friends who understand what you’re going through can make a world of difference. You can receive additional support on campus from the Tutoring Center.

Tutors and students working in the tutoring center

Celebrate small victories

Take a moment to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Completing an assignment, acing a quiz or just making it through a tough day – these are all victories worth acknowledging.

As you navigate through finals and the holiday season, remember that your well-being is of utmost importance. Reach out for support when needed, embrace self-care practices and celebrate your successes. Black Hawk College is here for you, providing counseling services and access to TimelyCare telehealth services to ensure your holistic well-being.

Wishing you resilience, focus and success during this demanding time. Happy studying and happy holidays, BHC students!