Engaging in Self-Care Practices During Midterms and Finals

How to Avoid Burnout

Studies have shown that academic stress is negatively associated with academic performance (Akgun & Ciarrochi, 2003). Self-care practices such as sleep, hygiene, and social support are associated with reduction in perceived stress (Myers et al., 2012).

Many different kinds of stressors may arise around midterms and finals, ranging from academic to personal. An accumulation of such stressors over time can limit the cognitive and emotional resources we have to draw upon in our daily lives.


  • Educators should be attentive to their own self-care and well-being not only during times of crisis or distress, but as an ongoing practice. This Faculty Focus blog on Self-Care Strategies for Faculty provides guidance for educators on how to avoid burnout and intentionally engage in self-care.
  • To create supportive learning environments that are also conducive to focusing students’ attention, educators can incorporate mindfulness activities into their teaching practices. Simple exercises such as the incorporation of silence can foster experiential learning, honor vulnerability, and cultivate compassion, to ultimately strengthen important affective and interpersonal capacities that support psychological well-being and holistic development. Northeastern students also have support and community resources through the We Care office and through the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service.


Akgun, S., & Ciarrochi, J. (2003). Learned resourcefulness moderates the relationship between academic stress and academic performanceEducational Psychology23(3), 287-294.

Myers, S. B., Sweeney, A. C., Popick, V., Wesley, K., Bordfeld, A., & Fingerhut, R. (2012). Self-care practices and perceived stress levels among psychology graduate studentsTraining and Education in Professional Psychology6(1), 55-66.