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Five Study Break Activities that Don’t Involve Alcohol

Yes, it is possible to endure finals studying without feeling the need to drink away your stress. While I’m no physician, I can say that it’s probably in your best interest to stay focused without the booze. So, instead of heading to the bar during your 30-minute (ehm, two hour) study breaks, try these calming activities that won’t cause you to cry and call your ex.

1.Take a hot shower or bath

I know this might seem like the typical self-care-bath-bomb-face-mask type sh*t, but a hot shower or bath is super calming to your body and mind, and allows you to focus on something other than studying. I know it’s not really an ‘activity,’ but whenever I find myself overwhelmed with anxiety or stress, I get in a warm shower and focus on how good the water feels on my skin. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s a good practice to take your mind off of work. Throw in your favorite body wash or skin cleanser, and it’ll allow you to return to your study space with a clear mind. And smooth skin.

2. Treat yourself to a coffee or tea

As an avid coffee drinker, I know that you’re already stocked up on your favorite brews to stay awake throughout finals week. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t leave your work space and take yourself on a date to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant anyway! Treat yourself for studying and getting those practice questions right with a hot cocoa or tea, or even your favorite dish from a restaurant down the street. Grab some friends too – the more the merrier!

3. Catch that movie you’ve been dying to see

Let’s be real, 2018 has been a phenomenal year for movies (Incredibles 2, A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody), so instead of wasting your hard-earned cash at your local freshman bar, hit up your bestie and see that new movie you two have been talking about all semester. It’s a great way to take a break from studying and keep yourself sane with some human interaction. Plus, those movie theater student discounts – take advantage while you still can!

4. Bake some cookies

Or brownies, or a cake. Leave the lib and spend the night playing Martha Stewart in your off-campus apartment! Invite over all your friends and encourage them to take a break with you. Stress-eating is acceptable this week (right?), so make the most of it and try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe with your pals. Pretend that your 8 am exam doesn’t exist for a while.

Okay, maybe not the best idea if you wanna be super focused, but it is a good way to motivate yourself to finish whatever you’re working on so you can get back to reading. I’m already on the fourth Harry Potter book and I can say this works quite well, if you have the self control to only read for 30 minutes. Either way, it’s a great way to entertain yourself without staring at a screen, because you’ve just been doing that all day “reviewing” and not refreshing your Twitter feed for four consecutive hours.

5. Read a book series

I know we’re all stressed out during this time, but your world doesn’t have to come crashing down just because deadlines are! Just take it one step at a time: plan out your work schedule, prioritize what needs to be done, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and take breaks. Soon you’ll be cozied up on your couch at home watching with your family, and then you can sneak all the booze in your drinks that you want ;-). Good luck!

Emma Saks

Cincinnati '20

Soft smile ~kween~ with a passion for writing, reading Harry Potter, and binging Broad City.
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