Semester Wind Down

Whew, what a semester it has been! Virtual hangouts, online classes, and a global pandemic. There are plenty of things to be proud of after this year and celebrating the end of the semester is no different.With excitement in seeing the light at the end of this COVID tunnel and the end of the semester, it’s important to assess your level of comfort and risk to keep yourself and community safe and well.

Students lounge on Polk Place on April 12, 2021, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Keep in mind low risk strategies to manage stress:

  • Take care of yourself, first! What is most helpful to you in this moment? You could study, or take a walk outside, or enjoy some social time with a friend.
  • Take care of your friends and your family. Helping others cope with their stress can help with your own anxiety and will make your community stronger.
  • Take intentional breaks from your screens. Being on your phone or computer for extended periods of time can be draining. Schedule breaks to get outside or call a friend.
  • Connect with others. If you want to get together, hang with small groups who you know well and trust. Assess your risk with the updated CDC guidelines and recommendations.
  • Support your friends, family and your community. Send encouraging text messages with jokes, memes, funny pictures and/or inspiration.

Take care of your body and brain by:

  • Meditating
  • Eating well and balanced
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Making time to unwind
  • Do some activities you enjoy

While it might be tempting to turn to alcohol to cope with this stressful time, keep in mind that alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system and negatively impact your ability to regulate your emotions. It can also affect academic performance and brain function. If you’re considering using substances, understand what you are putting into your body and the potential risk involved.

If you’re concerned about your substance use habits, check out the Student Wellness website for resources or write us an email to set up a one-on-one appointment with a trained staff member.

No matter how you celebrate your accomplishments and the end of the academic year, take time to reflect on the year, center your wellbeing and support your fellow Tar Heels.

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