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Study breaks are incredibly important when it comes to finals week. Multiple psychological studies have shown that study breaks can help students to focus better on their assignments. However, with all of the assignments, projects, essays, and tests to study for during finals week, it can feel overwhelming to try and fit in a study break that doesn’t end up doing more harm that good. Here are some short study break ideas that will only take up 30 minutes of your time so that you can get right back on the grind! 

Watch a Short Show

Take a short break and stream something short and funny. For Netflix, I always recommend Derry Girls. It’s a comedy about five friends living in a small town in Northern Ireland and episodes are only about 30 minutes. For Hulu, Brooklyn 99 is a fan-favorite. This show is about the 99th precinct of the NYPD and their adventures as cops. Both are lighthearted, funny, and have a great set of characters that will help to alleviate any stress and take your mind off school for even just half an hour.


For destressing, yoga is always a must. However, yoga is also a great study break because it gets your blood pumping and stretched your muscles. After hours of sitting in the same place (and probably not with the best posture), it is important to move around and loosen any stuff parts of your body, but also to get the blood flowing back to your brain so that you can focus and think more clearly.

Self Care

Take the time to try out that new self care product you’ve been wanting to use or just to do something to take care of yourself. Whether that is a face mask, a hair mask, taking a short jog, or painting your nails, do something that makes you feel refreshed and happy after hours of studying. When you return to your study space, you will find that you will feel more relaxed and ready to focus. 

Tidy Your Space

Set a timer (for however long you want) and take a chance to straighten up your study space and/or bedroom until the timer goes off. There have been several studies that show that clutter increases stress and anxiety. Devote some time to getting that space looking nice so that you can feel more relaxed when you have to spend long periods of time there. 

Cook an Easy Meal 

Whether it’s an old classic or something new you’ve been wanting to try, make yourself a proper meal that doesn’t take too much time or effort. During finals, it’s so easy to skip meals and eat properly, instead relying on snacks, but the body functions better on a full stomach and with nutrients. Give back to your body and take a break while doing it.  

For some inspiration, check out Tabitha Brown’s videos for good recipes and a heartwarming message to go with it!

While thinking of something to do during your study breaks, here is one thing to also do: stay away from social media. Even though everyone says that they will only take a five minute break in Insta, we all know that can last hours and waste a lot of time. The endless scrolling feature on social media apps makes it easy to keep going forever and procrastinate material. Picking an activity with a definite end is a more efficient way to get back to studying. 

Good luck with studying and finals, but remember to give yourself a break to get the most out of your time and effort! 

Caroline Ernst is a senior at Christopher Newport University studying English with a writing concentration and classical studies and literature as minors. She studied abroad in Rome fall semester of her junior year, where she spent her time exploring the city, Italy, and many other European cities. On campus, she works as her university's Italian tutor in their tutoring center, where she also work as a the Foreign Language Lead Tutor. In addition, she works in the writing center on campus as a writing consultant, helping students with their essays and other writings. She is a proud member of CNU's chapter of Her Campus, where she writes for their writing team and this year will take on the responsibility as Senior Editor.