One Minute Midterm Self-Care Practices

Midterm season is upon us, and with it the overwhelming stress of exams, papers, and projects. Despite the craziness of midterms, the most important thing you can do to help combat stress is to set aside time for self-care. Telling yourself that you are too busy to take care of yourself during periods of high stress will only increase anxiety and harm your performance. Many self-care practices to reduce stress only take about a minute to do, so make sure to give your mind a break and try out some of these quick stress relief tips!

  1. Focused Breathing: Close your eyes and focus on the tip of your nose. Breathe in, focusing on the air entering your nostrils. Breathe out, focusing on the sensations of air passing back out. Repeat this several times.

  2. Deep Breathing: Take deep breaths, holding them for a couple of seconds each time. Exhale all at once, and sigh loudly if needed. Try and relax your jaw and shoulders when you exhale. Repeat this several times.

  3. Tension Release: Focus on different areas of your body, tensing the muscles all at once, and relaxing when you release them. Take deep breaths as you tense different areas, holding it and exhaling all at once when you release.


There are also several creative steps you can take to help with your self-care! Pick up some crayons, markers, and other art supplies and check out these DIY self-care activities:

  1. Glitter Jars -- “a swirling vortex of glittery paradise!”

  2. Coloring Books -- check out The Mindfulness Colouring Book available at Urban Outfitters or on!

  3. Aromatherapy -- the use of natural oils that have a pleasant smell to make a person feel better!

  4. Journal -- writing or doodling for a few minutes in between studying can help relieve stress!

  5. Stop into the Wellness Zone at CAPS (3rd floor Michigan Union) to relieve stress, relax in a massage chair, peer out at the changing leaves, and rest as you navigate your busy life at UM.


You can also check out Resources for Stress and Mental Health on the UHS website, as well as Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health for more tips on taking care of yourself during midterms!


Contributed by: Gaby Vasquez