5 Study Break Suggestions

Final exam season is upon us, which can only mean stress, sleep deprivation, anxiety and a multitude of other miserable and unenjoyable factors leading into the joy of summer vacation. During this time of the semester, it is important to allow yourself breaks to restore your energy and mental well-being. Here are some simple ways you can take a little study break this finals season without impeding your study time.

1. Take a walk

We are fortunate to have an absolutely beautiful campus, especially this time of year when everything is in bloom. Getting some fresh air and relaxing exercise is a great way to take a break from the stress of studies and from the solitude of the library. Walking to a favorite coffee shop, strolling around the Arboretum, or even just walking around campus with a few friends can be a really restorative and simple way to ease your mind in the midst of stress.

2. Take a nap

Finals season means sleep deprivation for a lot of students. If you know you are going to be running on little to no sleep heading into finals, reserve your break time for a well-earned and much-needed nap. Not only will getting a bit of sleep help you retain information better when you go back to hitting the books, but it will also aid your mental and physical health. You would be amazed what even 30 minutes of extra sleep can do.

3. Have a snack

This one might seem a little elementary, but during finals, it can often feel too nerve-wracking to eat a proper meal. Make sure you are giving your body the energy it needs to get through studying. Make yourself a smoothie, have an apple with peanut butter, or go out and buy some of your favorite snacks to have on reserve for exam season. Even if it’s grab-and-go like a granola bar, making sure you are adequately fueling your body is super important during finals. While you’re at it, be sure to stay properly hydrated as well! Sit out on the Quad and enjoy your snack in the sun, even if it’s just for five minutes.

4. Tidy Up

Believe it or not, taking a few minutes to organize yourself by cleaning your room or apartment will likely help increase your productivity in other realms as well. If the space you are studying in is a big mess, you are more likely to become distracted. Take a study break by being productive in a different way. Turn up some of your favorite tunes and tidy up before you go back to hitting the books.

5. Reward Yourself

Something I like to do after an exam and before I start studying for the next is to reward myself for the work I have already accomplished, as opposed to immediately stressing about the next item on my list of to-dos. When it comes to exam season, I like to decompress with little rewards, whether that is getting some Espresso Royale after completing an exam or taking a break to paint my nails after finishing an essay. It really is the little things that can help keep you going during a time of stress.

Whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or over exhausted, take note. Your body is telling you that it needs a break. Whether you decide to take a ten-minute stroll or a ten-minute nap, taking care of yourself in the midst of high-stress is the most rewarding thing you can do for your mind and body. Take care of yourself this finals season and take breaks - you've got this! 


Photos by Bridgette Jasinski