show that breaks in your study routine can positively affect your attention abilities.
Taking breaks from studying every ninety minutes or so can improve both focus and attention. In addition to taking regular study breaks, what you do with each break can matter, too.
It’s important to choose the right type of activity for your study break so that you can return back refreshed and focused, ready to get back to your books.
Below are some healthy, beneficial activities you may want to consider taking on during your next study break and what you should try to avoid doing during your study breaks, too.
Positive Study Break Activities:
When deciding what to do during your study breaks, always keep in mind that different methods work for different people. It’s a good idea to vary different break activities to find which is the most effective in refreshing you.
If an activity makes it difficult to transition back into your studies, it’s likely not the right break activity for you.
Remember, a good study break should never be another way to procrastinate!
Additionally, you should set a timer so that your can space out your study breaks and so that you never take a break for longer than necessary. When the timer sounds, you know it’s time to get back to work.
Take a Walk –
No, we don’t mean around the library. Get outside and get some fresh air, no matter how short the walk may be. Getting your body moving helps blow flow, which is going to help re-energize you. Any form of exercise will be beneficial to your physical and mental well-being – during your study breaks or otherwise.
You’re likely tense from the anxiety of studying plus, when you study, you sit in the same position for long periods of time. Taking some time to stretch your muscles out can help relax you more than you know!
Tidy Up –
It can be difficult to focus amidst chaos. And, though you should never clean as a means of procrastination, it can be relaxing to tidy up during one of your regularly scheduled study breaks. Then, you can return to your studies in a relaxed setting – sans pigsty.
Phone a Friend –
When you haven’t spoken to anyone for hours and you begin to enter zombie-mode, calling someone to actually have a conversation out loud. It takes your mind off the task at hand and helps you stay, well, human.
Take a Quick Shower –
Everyone feels invigorated when they are fresh out of the shower. Seriously, it’s like you’ve been reborn. During your next study break, take a five or ten minute shower to help revitalize and refresh your body and mind. We also recommend you sing in there at the top of your lungs, but there’s no reason for that, other than fun.
Run a Quick Errand –
If you find that your mind is racing between your studies and your to-do list, running a quick errand can help you take a break and<
knock something off your list at the same time.
Cook a Healthy Meal –
This is a way to knock out two tasks at once: a low-thought level activity to take your mind off studying for a few minutes and
allowing yourself to take breaks to eat something healthy. While it’s easy to order carry-out, taking the time to make yourself a simple healthy meal (whether it’s on a stove or a George Foreman grill) will benefit your body and your mindset.
During one of your scheduled breaks, take a few mindful minutes to meditate in a calm and quiet setting. Focus on some breathing exercises, which can really revitalize and invigorate the mind so that it’s ready to absorb more information!
Express Yourself through Creativity–
Creative activities, like coloring, drawing or a quick dance off with a friend can boost energy, clear your mind and boost your mood – even if you aren’t artistic. Sure, it may seem juvenile to color but, if it works, why not?
What to Avoid:
There are also some things you should avoid doing on your study breaks. The wrong types of study break activities can hinder your ability to stay attentive and concentrate – exactly the opposite of what you need during study time.
Snacking on Junk Food –
Junk food isn’t nutritious and, though it may be easier to order pizza or grab something sugary on the go, it won’t provide the necessary benefits to help sustain you and keep you on track.
Taking a Nap –
Taking a nap can actually make you more tired, slow you down or stunt your productivity. If you must
take a nap during your study break – a quick catnap (not longer than 20 minutes) is the best way to go.
Watching TV, Surfing the Web, Video Games & Other Media-Related Activities –
These activities don’t aid productivity, in fact, they can hinder it or actually make you feel more tired than you are. Go for an activity that gets you moving, breathing and relaxes your mind without putting it to sleep.
Excessive Caffeine –
Though you may think it’s your best friend during finals, too much caffeine has adverse effects and can actually cause you to crash in the end. Positive study break activities help with longer-term focus – not just the spurts of energy that caffeine delivers.
Huge meals –
Though you may wait until you are absolutely starving
, it’s not beneficial for you to eat a large meal if you’re looking to continue your studies. Too much food will make you feel tired and lethargic so opt for lighter meals spread out throughout your study process.
Remember, a good study break should never be another way to procrastinate! If an activity makes it difficult to transition back into your studies, it’s likely not the right break activity for you.