As the spring semester kicks into full gear, it’s not uncommon for one to get a bit stressed or burnt out as summer approaches. In order to combat this, it’ll be important to look ahead and know how your past self can help your future self be more productive and take care of your mental health.
I understand that taking a break can sometimes make you feel worse because it feels like wasted time, but this time can be valuable to your mental health because it allows you to dedicate time to yourself. It’ll be much more difficult to get work done if you’re staring at it for too long without a second to breathe.
To get us through the semester, here are some ideas for stress relievers and mental health breaks to take your mind off work and relax for a little bit.
- Create a to-do list for the day.
While this first idea is not for the middle of your study day, it’s a great way to keep you on track for the rest of the day. You can write out a to-do list on a sticky note, on a random piece of paper, or in a bullet journal. After you’ve written down your tasks for the day, you can also do a little decorating on the page before you get started. Make it something you want to look at throughout the day.
- Doodle or draw.
Drawing is a really easy way to take a five-minute break from your work. All you would need is a pen or pencil and a sticky note, no artistic skill required. Just doodle a few lines and shapes, add a face to your drawing and it becomes instantly cute and uplifting.
- Watch an episode of your favorite TV show.
We all know that watching Netflix is a great way to end the day and wind down. However, sometimes it can be good to push that time up a little bit in the day. If you have a 20-minute block to spare, you could watch an episode of your favorite show to lift your spirits. This also applies to a quick YouTube video or part of a movie you really like. Just make sure to only watch one episode, then get back to work. A great way to find this time is to watch while you eat lunch, which brings me to the next break idea…
- Make a homemade lunch.
Making food for yourself is not only a great way to take a break from work, but also great for your health. It can give you the energy to finish out the workday. This can be as easy as making a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich or making a fancier meal on the stove. While you are preparing and cooking, you could watch that episode you were also waiting for.
- Write a journal entry.
While you might not want to take a break from writing a research essay by writing, even more, journaling can still be a great option to spend some time reflecting on yourself. A quick search on Pinterest for journal prompts can give you a wide array of topics to write about to take a break from reading and writing in an academic setting. No one will be reading your personal journal entries, so it doesn’t have to be formal in any way.
- Take a walk outside.
The last idea for a study break stress reliever is quite the common answer to getting away from hours of staring at your computer. Take a quick walk outside (wearing a mask, of course!) and take some time to admire the nature around you or the city skyline if you’re in an urban city. If you can, take a walk with the people you live with or walk alone with a good podcast episode to accompany you.