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Things to do When You’re Taking a Study Break

  1. Get up, move around, and stretch. The gym may not always be your first priority during finals week, but remaining active is still extremely important. Standing up and just moving around your study space for a few minutes can be so beneficial. Tip: stand with your feet together, bend over, and let your head hang in between your arms. This allows blood to flow into the brain, which will boost your concentration, memory, and alertness to help your study skills.

  2. Eat, eat, EAT. And no, that bag of chips from the library vending machine a few hours ago does not count. If you’re anything like me, sometimes you need to schedule in meals when your day becomes hectic. Healthy eating is especially important during times of stress and lack of sleep due to your weakened immune system. Putting good in produces good results. Your grades will thank you if you reward your brain with healthy food. Tip: foods high in protein and fiber will keep you more full for those long study sessions. A bagel with peanut butter is surprisingly high in protein if you need something quick and on-the-go.

  3. Sleep because I know you’re trying to pull an all-nighter. For every hour of study time during the day, the brain would require an hour and a half to retain the same amount of information when studying at night. Daylight is also known to improve alertness and concentration, which increases the ability to take in new information. Tip: if studying for long hours during the day tires you out, twenty-to-thirty-minute power naps are just enough time for the brain to recharge and to feel restful without entering REM sleep (which is what makes you groggy after a really long nap).

  4. Positive vibes. Known as a self-fulfilling prophecy, predicting that you will fail your final can directly or indirectly cause you to fail your final. The opposite is true as well: believing you will pass your final can cause you to pass your final. These positive vibes and thoughts will reduce the amount of stress you feel and allow you to spend more time studying rather than worrying. Tip: try to steer clear of Negative Nancy’s during finals week because, if everyone else is talking about failing their finals, you may start to think about failing your own.

  5. Most importantly, don’t think about your finals. A break is a break for a reason. You spend enough time thinking about your finals during class and study sessions. A break should be relaxing and full of self-care routines. Clear your mind with some yoga, music, or whatever it may be and enjoy the good things happening around you. Tip: this is where practicing meditation comes in handy. Having control over your conscious enough to push away thoughts you don’t want to linger on is very helpful. 

(Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash)

Allison Hine

Murray State '20

Allison is a psychology major at Murray State University and can be easily spotted across campus by her purple hair. As a St. Louis native, she loves Ted Drewes and will certainly ask where you went to high school. She's been riding horses for over eight years and hopes to someday afford a horse of her own. But, her Pitbull, Piccolo, will do for now. When she's not talking about her dog, Allison can usually be found binging the latest shows on Hulu and Netflix (her favorites at the moment are Station 19 and Glee (again)).
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