Photo of a girl's socks as she lounges next to her dog on top of a pile of cozy blankets.

The end of the semester can be a stressful time, whether you’re studying for finals, gearing up for graduation or preparing to head home for break. Practicing small acts of self-care can help us feel better in case we start to feel off-track or burnt out.

Here are five small ways to treat yourself during finals week. 


Move your body

Physical activity can improve our mental and physical health. It’s also a great way to reduce stress. Try to plan for 20 minutes of activity each day. If you’re crunched for time, you can also break it up throughout the day by scheduling two 10-minute sessions. This can include popular forms of fitness like running, jogging, walking, biking, dancing or yoga, as well as more ‘out of the box’ ideas like volunteering to walk dogs or playing spike ball with friends.

You can also stop by the Rec Center for free skating, climbing and fitness classes during Free Finals Week from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15. Meeting rooms will also be available as study spaces. 

Learn more about Free Finals Week at The Rec


Did you know Medical Services also offers massage therapy?

Certified massage therapists can help with relaxation, stress reduction, sports recovery, circulation and muscle spasms. Services are available at Wardenburg and the Rec Center. 

Learn more about massage

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional medicine that works by promoting your body’s healing properties. In fact, acupuncture can be helpful for a variety of concerns, including back or neck pain, anxiety, depression, digestive disorders, fatigue, PMS symptoms, stress and more. 

Medical Services provides individual acupuncture appointments as well as community acupuncture, which is done in a group setting with auricular (ear) needles or seeds. If you need a quick pick-me-up for the week, we highly recommend trying community acupuncture.

Learn more about acupuncture services


Meet with a Peer Wellness Coach

Get help creating a self-care plan that works for you. Students can meet one-on-one with a trained Peer Wellness Coach to set goals, customize a self-care plan and make meaningful changes. The best part? It’s free!

Schedule a coaching session


Get some sleep

Sleep plays an important role in maintaining our physical, mental and immune health. As we prepare for finals, try sticking to a schedule that allows you to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. While it can be tempting to stay up all night studying, research shows that this can be harmful to our success and performance long-term.

Avoid cramming and pulling all-nighters by getting ready now. Break large projects or lengthy study guides into smaller, more manageable pieces. Plan out your time for each class to keep you on schedule while preserving your sleep. If you still feel groggy during the day, take a 15 to 20 minute snooze in one of the free Relaxation Stations on campus.

Find a Relaxation Station


Celebrate small wins

Allow yourself to bask in the success of small victories. Whether you’ve been studying for one exam or several, it’s important to acknowledge the progress you’ve made. Here are a few ways you can celebrate:

  • Eat a nice dinner. Cook your favorite meal or order something special from your favorite local restaurant.
  • Take a day off. Give yourself a day off to relax and recharge, whether that means watching shows or movies or spending the day outside.
  • Do something for yourself. Congratulate yourself on your progress with a small treat, such as an extra special coffee order.
  • Practice gratitude. Take some time to express gratitude for those who helped you study or supported you through finals (including yourself!).

Finals resources

For a full list of support resources, events, study spaces and tips for finals week, visit colorado.edu/finals.

Let’s Talk

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides free drop-in services through Let’s Talk. Counselors are available in person and online to help provide insight, solutions and information about additional resources related to academics, stress, anxiety, substance use, relationships and more.

Disability Services

Disability Services is dedicated to providing students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in university programs, courses and activities through reasonable accommodations and services. They also provide free workshops that are open to all students.

Wellness activities

Stop by the Wellness Suite on the 3rd floor of Wardenburg Health Center to enjoy free drop-in wellness activities from Dec. 13 to 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be hot cocoa, tea, stress balls, slime materials, aromatherapy, coloring pages and more. 

Buff Boxes

Order a free Buff Box to get free health and wellness supplies delivered to your residence hall, including stress and sleep supplies, cold and flu supplies or safer sex supplies. Living off campus? You can also pick up free supplies at the Wellness Suite on the third floor of Wardenburg Health Center.

Writing Center

The Writing Center provides free one-to-one tutoring sessions with professionally trained writing consultants, individualized guidance and feedback, as well as time-saving skills for writing and presentation projects. The Writing Center is available to all CU Boulder undergrad and graduate students for free.

Tutoring services

CU Boulder offers a wide variety of tutoring services. Some are specific to classes, departments or groups of students, while others are available campus-wide. Many of these services are free to use. If you aren’t sure where to begin, be sure to check your syllabus, and ask your professor or course assistant for help and referrals.

Grade Replacement Program

This program allows degree-seeking undergrad and graduate students to retake a course in which they earned a low grade in an attempt to improve their cumulative GPA.