With the semester coming to an end and finals week just around the corner, time management is more important than ever. Every moment is important. It is up to you if your time will be wasted or productive. Obviously, during finals week most people will spend their time studying, but what happens in between study sessions can have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing and grades. Study breaks can either be a distraction or motivation. It is important to take sensibly timed, refreshing study breaks. Here are some tips to taking productive yet relaxing breaks.
Hit the Gym
It is no secret that exercising has many benefits. During your study breaks, take time to go for a run or workout at the gym. The movement after hours of studying will help you to feel refreshed and more focused. Going for a walk or run outside can be even more relaxing. If you need to relieve some stress, exercising during your break will be beneficial.
Cook a Healthy Meal
Use your break to reward yourself with a healthy and delicious meal. Taking the time to cook the meal yourself will help you to focus on something besides your studies. Then, the healthy meal you cook will refresh and refocus you. Avoid unhealthy foods and snacks during study breaks. Junk foods can leave you feeling sluggish and out-of-focus. If you are tight on time and haven’t eaten in a while, this option will help you save time and refocus.
Take a Power Nap
Power naps are great during finals week. While you are catching up on lost sleep, your brain has a chance to re-energize. Studies have shown that power naps help improve focus, boost learning, reduce fatigue, and enhance long-term memory. Power naps should last about twenty minutes. This amount of time allows the brain to obtain the benefits of a longer nap, but will not last a full sleep cycle. Longer naps tend to leave a person feeling more drowsy and tired than before the nap. Power naps are perfect for students who stay up too late studying for the next exam.
Call a Family Member
During your study break, you could use your time to call your family. This will allow you to catch up with your family as well as take your mind off studying. Calling home is helpful if you feel discouraged, unmotivated, or just down in the dumps. Support from your family could be the extra encouragement you need to make it through finals week. Your family knows you best and will know how to reassure and comfort you. If you are over-stressed and need support, grab the phone and call home during your next break.
Grab Some Coffee
There is nothing like coffee to energize you through finals week. If you don’t have time for a nap but still need a little boost, head to Starbucks. Small amounts of caffeine can help you focus and energize. Be careful, though. Large amounts of caffeine can be extremely unhealthy. Monitor your intake and limit yourself to small amounts when needed. Coffee breaks are most effective for students who need the extra energy to stay awake through studying.
Organize or Clean
Organizing and cleaning can be extremely effective ways to take a break. Start by cleaning up your desk, then move on to whatever else needs cleaning. When you are finished, you will have a distraction free area to finish studying. Using your break to clean will also make you feel more accomplished. This small lift could help motivate to remain productive and continue studying efficiently. These breaks are great for students who need a distraction free area to work or just don’t have time to clean otherwise.
Meditating or praying during your breaks can help you to relax and improve your focus. Taking your mind off the school work for a while will help you be a lot more productive when your break is over. Meditating or praying will help you if you feel overwhelmed or lost during finals week.
Know the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Taking a Study Break
· Schedule your breaks
· Stay away from your studies
· Choose an activity that will benefit you most
· Choose an activity that will distract you or cause you to procrastinate
· Let your study breaks be too long
· Skip study breaks altogether