How to relieve stress by exercise for upcoming finals week

The last few weeks of the semester can feel overwhelming for Cal State Fullerton students as finals rapidly approach, but partaking in stress relieving activities can help those who are feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

Samantha Rebert, part-time kinesiology lecturer, said students often feel like they have to be constantly productive or that they should always study for something. However, without resting time, Rebert mentioned that it is actually harder to stay on top of things.

According to The American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress and 73 percent of people regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress.

Rebert said she recommends that students who are feeling stressed out and want to unwind should participate in any type of outdoor activity. She suggests activities like hiking or even sitting outside.

“I would highly recommend trying out the Arboretum. We have that available on campus for all of the students and its kind of that hidden gem that not many people know about. It’s really beautiful and being outside in nature can be very grounding and help put things in perspective,” Rebert said.

The Fullerton Arboretum is made up of 26 acres of gardens at the north end of campus, giving students plenty of space to unwind. It also offers yoga classes that guests can sign up for on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Taylor Ford, a CSUF indoor cycling spin instructor, said exercise can be very beneficial to relieving stress and picking a workout that you enjoy doing will have the highest benefit.

“Being college students we have so many things going on and you get overwhelmed with lots of different homework assignments, essays, work and studying. It’s important to release the stress by exercising,” Ford said.

According to the American Psychological Association, 43 percent of adults say they exercise to manage stress and 53 percent of adults reported they felt good about themselves after exercising.

Students who are interested in stress relieving workouts but are unsure where to start can visit the Student Recreation Center for Drop-In Fitness classes offered throughout the week.

“My personal favorite activity to relieve stress would be yoga. I really enjoy the distance from the outside world and just taking time to reflect on myself, how my body is feeling and just check in, and it’s good stress relief,” Ford said.

If exercise is not your stress reliever of choice, there are plenty of other options to unwind for these last few weeks before finals.

Rebert said she enjoys taking a soothing bath while listening to music.

Rebecca Sandler, a CSUF student, said she enjoys hanging out with her friends to unwind. She said it is important for her to take time to decompress to avoid burning out.

“Writing things down also helps me de-stress because for me I like to see everything on a piece of paper. It makes me realize I don’t have as much as I thought I did,” Sandler said.

No matter the approach you take to relieving stress, whether it is doing yoga with friends or soaking in a candle-lit bath, it is important to take some time for yourself in the upcoming weeks.  

“Mental health is definitely number one. You need to take time for yourself and make sure that you prioritize things that are important to you to keep yourself sane,” Ford said.

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