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5 Ways to Take a Break from Studying for Finals

One of the most important (and best) parts of studying for finals is taking breaks. It's crucial to take some time to unwind and reset in between studying for exams so you're not exhausted the whole time, because exhaustion can make the already stressful studying process even harder. However, it's also important that you limit your break time so you don't sit down to watch a show on Netflix and get up six hours later realizing you completely lost track of time (we've all been there). To help answer the question, "How should I take a break from studying?", here are five ideas for 30-minute breaks to help you reset in between your study sessions.

Bake some cookies

Baking is one of the most enjoyable things in the world for me. It’s also a great way to unwind and take a break. To keep this break short and sweet, there's no need to go overboard with what kind of cookies you're baking. I recommend simple recipes like these three-ingredient peanut butter cookies or these easy sugar cookies that don't take too much time and can be made with things that are already in your kitchen. And, as a bonus, after baking, you'll have plenty of study snacks!

Read a chapter of a book

Anyone familiar with my articles knows I love reading, so I might be biased when I say reading is a perfect way to take a break from studying. And I hear what you're saying: "Why should I go from reading to more reading?!" But reading for pleasure and for studying are two completely different experiences. For me, there's nothing more relieving than going from something I don't want to read to something I do, and if you find an exciting book with a premise that interests you, you're sure to have that experience, too.


There's no better way to relax and to process your feelings than to write them down in a journal. Whether you're one of those artistic bullet journalers who make entire spreads for planning their days, or you're someone like me who writes a few words down in a notebook every night, journaling can be a great way to work through what you're feeling and relax after a long study session. 

Take a walk

Nowadays, it's really important to get out and exercise. Taking a walk can be a great COVID-safe way to do so, and also to clear your head after a day of stressful studying. If it's not too cold where you live, taking a short walk around the block or down the street is a great way to reset your brain and take a break. And, if you're up for more of a sweat, taking a longer, 30-minute walk can help you get some exercise as well.

Do some yoga

In that same vein, yoga is another great way to take a break from finals. Yoga is specifically about relaxation and meditation, which is something I'm always craving during finals. It's also a good way to take your mind off of all the work you have to do and focus on something else for a while. I know I always feel more refreshed and ready to attack the day after a quick yoga session!

Hopefully, some of these tips come in handy for you while you're studying for finals! Here's hoping for good grades and successful study sessions!

Francesca DeGiorgio

Columbia Barnard '24

Francesca (she/her) is a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in English and minoring in History. She's originally from Los Angeles, California. She loves reading, writing, astrology, and watching way too much tv.
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