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Staying Calm During Finals

A Wellness Guide for Managing End-of-Term Worries

By Hannah Herrlich, Emerging Technologies Librarian

And just like that, finals are here.

We know you have been working hard all semester long, but finals nonetheless can be a stressful time for many of us. Of course, the library provides year-round services to help you through your studies, such as Ask a Librarian, Citation Management, Liaison Consultation, and Personal Librarian. Beyond the research and reference assistance, the library also offers a breadth of wellness resources for those much-needed breaks between examinations and term papers. Read on to discover how the library can help you manage stress and remain calm throughout these final study sessions.

Tune Out

Listening to music is a great way to soothe the mind and shut out pesky distractions. Fortunately, the library has an impressive array of online music databases that make it easy for you to listen to a wide range of genres and help combat late-night study blues. 

  • Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Comprehensive coverage of popular music from 1900 to present. Includes jazz, country, folk, rap, musicals, world music, and more.
  • Naxos Music Library: Over two-million tracks of classical music, jazz, folk, new age, gospel, blues, and Chinese music. *(Note: Please click the log-out button when finished. There is a limit of 10 simultaneous users.)
  • Music and Dance Online This multimedia resource from Alexander Street features works from thousands of respected partners, covers hundreds of genres from alternative rock to zydeco and from alternative dance to operatic arias, and encompasses a wide range of content formats—including scores, reference, and high-definition audio and video

Within the scope of the Music and Dance Online database are additional niche databases for specific genres, such as classical, jazz, American, contemporary world, popular (pop), and Smithsonian global sound.

Take a Deep Breath

Meditation is a great method to implement for recentering focus and calming any intrusive, anxious thoughts. Whether you are a novice or an expert at meditation, the online library catalog has an extensive list of ebooks that will help guide your practice. 

Additionally, the Gale Ebooks Mental Health and Wellness Collection includes 15 ebooks, which span diverse topics offering students help, guidance, and resources during their most vulnerable moments. Reference anytime, anywhere, and on any device, and international and ESL students will benefit from translation in nearly 40 languages.

Get Moving

Your body needs a break from sitting at a desk for hours on end. Nourish your body with exercise, and you will find benefits to both your physical and mental health. There are many ways you can exercise, some of which you do as part of your daily routine, such as riding a bike to school or work. Almost any activity (done in moderation) that increases your heart rate and uses major muscles in your body is good for you. Odle & Hodgkins (2021) outline 4 types of exercise: 

  • Aerobic exercise makes your heart beat faster and your breathing rate increase
  • Strength training, also called resistance exercise, builds muscle function and tone
  • Balance exercise makes you feel steadier on your feet
  • Stretching exercise improves flexibility of muscles and tendons in the body

Though it might seem daunting or even unrealistic to squeeze in some exercise during finals, there are plenty of resources available to help you discover what type of exercise is best and most enjoyable for you. These ebooks are a great place to start in launching your fitness journey.

Also available is the database Health and Medicine (Gale OneFile), which features full text of many articles from health and fitness magazines.

And if you’re more likely to be found tearing up the dance floor than running a 5K, there are plenty of dance resources available, as well. The database Dance Online: Dance in Video (Volumes I & II) covers the full scope of 20th and 21st century dance and includes performances, documentaries, interviews, and instructional videos from the most influential performers and companies. There is also Dance Online: Dance Studies Collection, which presents the historical context of 20th and 21st century dance through 150,000 pages of exclusive photographs, correspondence, magazines, dance notation, and reference materials. For more information on our collection of dance material, consult the Dance research guide.

Laugh out Loud

Even during the somber study sessions ahead, it’s okay to take a little break for some comedic relief. If you’re in the mood to view or listen to a few jokes, browse through the humor section of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), which provides a central web portal to the unique programming of public media stations. And don’t overlook all of the funny stories available in our collection. Here are just a few!

Good luck with finals and happy studying! –Fordham University Libraries

Works Cited

Odle, T. G., & Hodgkins, F. (2021). Exercise. In Gale Health and Wellness Online Collection. Gale.

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