Remember JHU SNACKS during finals

| April 29, 2024

As we head into a demanding finals season, it is crucial to remember that a little balance and self-care can go a long way towards not just surviving but thriving during this busy time. In support of this, let’s talk about SNACKS! Not just the kind you munch on during a study session, but an acronym for well-being to help students remember the importance of the following factors:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Activity
  • Connectivity
  • Knowledge, and
  • Self-care.

It’s paramount to tend to these things in times of increased stress, like the end of an academic term.

The goal of JHU SNACKS is to raise awareness, provide the latest information, prompt reflection, and highlight services related to sleep, nutrition, activity, connectivity, knowledge, and self-care.

Keep reading for a highlight of information, strategies, and resources related to JHU SNACKS, and keep an eye out for our team on campus. We’ll be distributing JHU SNACKS packs, stuffed with items that promote better well-being habits. The packs also include information about free JHU resources and services to support your well-being and to encourage self-care as you prepare for finals.


Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, especially during finals. Sleep boosts brain function, enhances memory recall, and keeps you mentally sharp, which are all crucial for performing well on exams. Here are some tips:

  • Aim for about 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, even during study breaks.
  • Limit caffeine at least six hours prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour (or as close to an hour as possible) before bedtime to ensure quality rest.
  • Select nutrient-dense snacks (vegetables, crackers, fruit, bagels, oatmeal) rather than energy-dense snacks (candy, soda) within a couple of hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of water before bed. Instead, drink it throughout the day.
  • Keep your room cool. The recommended temperature is between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit
  • Play some ambient noise; the Calm app has plenty of options.
  • Stretch your muscles to release as much tension as possible.


  • Yawns Hopkins. Request a sleep kit through our website for pick up at the Homewood or East Baltimore Health Promotion & Well-Being Office. Alternative pick-up or drop-off of sleep kits may be arranged to schools not located on these campuses.
  • Well-Being Consultations and Coaching. Meet with a Health Educator to improve well-being (including sleep) through goal setting and behavior change.
  • JHU Primary Care. Comprehensive primary care services, including the evaluation and treatment of most acute and/or chronic medical conditions affecting adults.
  • The Calm app. Reduce stress, sleep better, and feel happier
  • Student Well-Being Blog. A comprehensive archive of blog posts written by students, faculty, and staff covering a variety of health and well-being topics can be found on the Student Health and Well-Being website. You can view all the posts related to sleep on this page.


Proper nutrition fuels your brain and body, increasing your energy levels and concentration. Eating well can also prevent illness, which is the last thing you need during finals. Here are some tips:

  • Opt for balanced meals with protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep nutrient dense snacks like nuts, yogurt, and fruit on hand to avoid energy crashes.
  • Stay hydrated, as water is your best friend for maintaining focus.
  • If you find yourself forgetting to eat or skipping meals, set a 3–4-hour timer to remind you to nourish your body
  • The more colorful your plate, the more likely you are to be getting a variety of nutrients.
  • Be adventurous with your eating! Incorporate as much variety as you can in your food choices to make sure you are getting all the good stuff.



Physical activity can boost your mood, decrease stress, and sharpen your focus. It can help you retain information, which is critical at the end of an academic term. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule short exercise breaks, even if it is just a quick walk or a few stretches.
  • Try yoga or meditation to clear your mind and relieve stress.
  • Remember, a little goes a long way! Even 20 minutes can make a difference.
  • According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the average adult should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This can be 50 minutes 3 times per week, 30 minutes 5 times per week, or any combination that fits your schedule.
  • Activity does not have to be formal exercise. It can be any activity you enjoy that elevates your rate. (For specifics about heart rate, check out the American Heart Association’s Target Heart Rates Chart.). Some non-formal-exercise activities include Hot Girl Walks, laundry dance party, hiking, and swimming.



Staying connected with friends and family provides emotional support, provides community, and reduces feelings of isolation during this stressful time. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule study sessions with classmates to combine productivity with social time.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just talking about it can help.
  • Engage in campus events or study groups to feel a part of the community.
  • Get a minimum of 1-3 hours of social interaction per day. This can be in the form of study groups, FaceTime, or lab groups.
  • Schedule check-ins with loved ones weekly or bi-weekly to be sure you make time for your support system.
  • Try new activities where you may meet people you have never met.


  • Intramurals are available to anyone with an O’Connor Recreation Center membership
  • A wide variety of sport clubs provide a wonderful opportunity to learn and develop a new sport or continue to participate in a sport in which you already have experience. Sports clubs are also a great way to make friends and get involved outside of academics.
  • A Place to Talk is a supportive peer led group of students for the undergraduate community.
  • Find student groups and activities on Hopkins Groups.
  • The Student Health Promotion & Well-Being weekly newsletter, This Week in Well-Being, includes an events round-up. You can also check out the events pages of the SHWB website and the Hub.
  • Catch a JHU Athletics competition. If your friends can’t make it and you don’t want to sit by yourself, sit with the Flock.
  • The Center for Social Concern (CSC) and Leadership Engagement and Experiential Development (LEED) coordinate tons of events on the Homewood campus.
  • SOURCE has community engagement opportunities for the East Baltimore schools.


Effective studying strategies are more productive than cramming and help retain information long-term. This includes intentional habits to support brain health. Here are some tips:

  • Break study material into manageable chunks and use tools like flashcards or summaries.
  • Teach concepts to someone else; not only will you help a fellow student, but it will also reinforce what you have learned.
  • Prioritize your study sessions by giving more time to what you know least well.
  • Break up your studying session with a break roughly every 50-60 minutes. Breaks can include activities like chair yoga, meditation, sitting in the grass outside, playing with a dog, etc. Or try the Pomodoro Technique which uses shorter work intervals (25 minutes).
  • Use your planner or calendar to make sure you are staying on schedule and have time for the rest of your work.
  • Avoid studying at night. You don’t retain as much information, and it can substantially disrupt your sleep.


  • Student Disability Services is committed to fostering an accessible and inclusive culture for students with disabilities.
  • Health Promotion and Well-Being provides health promotion and education through events, consultations, and peer educators
  • PILOT helps Homewood undergrads make a smooth transition to college life both academically and socially. It also demonstrates how collaborative learning uses contributions from individuals to benefit a group. (Homewood campus resource)
  • Student Outreach and Support (SOS) supports undergraduate students while they navigate the Homewood campus and JHU experience (Homewood campus resource)
  • For graduate students and trainees, (BSPH, SOM, SON, CBS, SAIS, and SOE) knowledge resources and support vary by school but are available throughAdvising, Student Affairs/ Student Services, and SEAM offices.


Intentional practices that increase your well-being—like taking time to relax and engage in healthy practices that bring you joy—is crucial for mental health and can improve your academic performance by preventing burnout. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule time to do things you love, whether it’s reading a non-academic book, listening to music, watching a show, or getting together with friends.
  • Practice mindfulness or breathing exercises to center yourself.
  • Remember, it’s okay to take a step back and rest.
  • Find a hobby or two that you can use to give your brain a break or decompress from a stressful day.
  • Be consistent with your self-care. Use it as a preventative measure rather than damage control.
  • Create a self-care toolbox. This can be virtual (a list) or physical items to have a variety of self-care activities to choose from when you need to take care.
  • Saying no is a form of self-care. Set boundaries and protect your well-being!
  • Reach out to resources before, during, and after need.


  • Health Promotion and Well-Being provides health promotion and education through events, consultations, and peer educators
  • Primary Care offers comprehensive primary care services, including the evaluation and treatment of most acute and/or chronic medical conditions affecting adults.
  • Mental Health Services offers a variety of services to JHU students to support their mental health and emotional well-being.
  • Student Disability Services is committed to fostering an accessible and inclusive culture for students with disabilities.
  • Confidential Resources are a community of confidential staff who are trained in trauma-informed, culturally responsive practices and do not have the same reporting and duties as other staff and faculty members on campus. Connecting with any of the confidential resources listed here does NOT constitute making an official report of sexual misconduct to the University.
  • Student Outreach and Support (SOS) supports Homewood undergraduate students as they navigate college life.

We at Health Promotion & Well-Being like to remind students and staff alike that you can’t pour from an empty cup. There are so many resources to support your overall well-being as a student, but most importantly, as a human at JHU. Remembering these tips and resources are essential to maintaining your well-being while achieving your goals. JHU SNACKS highlights these supports and can make a significant difference in your well-being at the end of term. Take care of yourselves, and good luck!