To many, the leaves begin to change and the drop in temperature signals the start of the fall season. And who doesn’t love fall? Warm Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and Halloween movies are just around the corner. To college students, this time of year signals round one of the midterms. For many students, exams can be very stressful. Everyone wants to do well and in order to achieve this, you have to put in hours outside of the classroom.
It is important that during this time students stay focused and engaged. They must pay attention in lectures, put in time outside class, and put their best foot forward. It is equally important that during this time students remember to care for themselves and their well-being. Taking care of your mental health and participating in acts of self-care are important steps on the path to success.
Here are my top three tips for taking care of yourself during this sometimes-stressful time of year.
- Treat yourself to some frozen yogurt after a long day of classes and studying
Downtown Iowa City is home to THREE tasty frozen yogurt places, Yotopia, Freddie’s Frozen Custard, and my personal favorite, Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt! What’s better than filling a dish with any combination of over 15 different frozen yogurt flavors and more toppings than you could ever imagine.
Not in the mood for frozen yogurt? Aspen Leaf is also home to a large variety of tasty caramel apples!
After a long day of classes, studying, or taking an important exam, you deserve to indulge in some of the best deserts Iowa City has to offer. Taking a short walk to satisfy the sweet tooth everyone has is a great way to treat yourself for all your hard work.
- Watch the sunset from the steps of the Old Capitol
Midterms are often stressful and have your mind turning in what seems like 100 different directions. One of the best ways to relax and calm your mind is to watch the sunset from the steps of the Old Capitol building. The Old Capitol is located on the Pentacrest, right in the middle of campus. Sitting up on a large hill, it is one of the best places to watch the beautiful Iowa sunset.
Grab some of your friends, a blanket, some late-night snacks, and your camera! If you aren’t able to spend too much time away from your studies, this is a great way to take a short break and is sure to relieve some of your stress.
- Walk the scenic route around the Iowa River
For many students, studying for midterms means sitting hours of sitting, reading, writing, and a nonstop flow of information. As we all know, it is extremely important that we give our brains a break from the chemistry and calculus mindset.
It is especially important that during these breaks we take a step away from our schoolwork and get some fresh air. Why not grab some fresh air while taking in the beautiful sights around the Iowa River. Students are provided with a walking path through campus and around the river. There are multiple footbridges, and each hold their own unique views of campus.
Taking a step away, getting some fresh air, and moving your body are great ways to be the most focused and engaged student.
There are countless ways to take care of yourself during stressful times. I have found that it can be most helpful to simply take a step back from your academics and spend some time doing something you enjoy. This refreshes your mind and can make the time you do spend on schoolwork more focused and productive.
Lastly, although hard, it is important to remember that you will experience struggles and hardships in college and at many other points in your life. During these times when you feel stressed and overwhelmed, take a few steps back and regain focus on where you are and who you are. Your mental health and feeling of well-being are not something to push to the side. Believe in yourself and you will go far!