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Five Ways to Decompress On Campus This Finals Season

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Whether you are waist-deep in reviews and Quizlets or you’re at the beginning of your study journey, taking breaks is always important. Refreshing your brain will help you study more efficiently and productively. It might feel counter-productive to stop studying when you’re in the groove of things, but you may thank yourself in the end. Over-exerting yourself during this final stretch of school may do more damage than good. This will help you to maintain focus when you do hit the books again and take a little bit of stress out of finals.

I use these five tactics from time to time to reset my brain, but only do what works for you and your study schedule! I also try to minimize distractions and social media time even when taking my study breaks, I find it very rewarding. 

1. Nature Walks

Depending on your proximity to nature trails, it may have to be a simple outdoor stroll. Sometimes on campus, we are only surrounded by buildings and sidewalks which works just as well. I prefer to study somewhere that has some enjoyable scenery, that way my walk there and back is enjoyable. But getting up for a few minutes to get a few extra steps is good for physical health as well as triggering ideas if you’re in a slump.

2. Exercise

I try to visit the campus Recreation Center at least a couple of times during the week. This one can be more difficult to squeeze in, but it could be as simple as a 15-minute stationary bike ride. I love to sign up for group fitness classes that way I have a set time to show up and leave the gym. It also holds you accountable when it is set on your calendar. Another great way to incorporate exercise in a busy week would be to invite some people to play pickleball, basketball, volleyball, etc. Most college campuses have plenty of courts open or available to rent. If that feels too much, I have also played a yoga class on my laptop to complete a workout in my room. Physical movement is super important for your body and brain. It can reduce stress and release endorphins.

3. Host a social event

While you and your friends may be spending every waking hour studying, taking time to socialize is important. This can be as simple as a quick game night complete with cards, board games, and a movie. Or you could set up a quick brunch or picnic at a park. I love to get a study group together for finals, which isn’t always productive, but it helps to have someone to get through finals with. 

4. Cook

This one can be as time-consuming or as short as you’d like. The food you nourish your body with also feeds your brain so choose something yummy and fun to make! It never hurts to have a warm home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients. Tip: Foods such as berries, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, nuts, eggs, avocados, salmon, olive oil, beets, rosemary, bone broth, and turmeric can “enhance your memory, focus, and concentration” according to National University. 

5. Live music

Most universities hold concerts free of charge where you can come and go as you please to listen to fun new music. All it takes is a quick Google search to find when and where you could have the opportunity to tune into free entertainment. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, listening to music can reduce anxiety while improving mood and memory.  

Claire Sullivan recently joined Her Campus and is a member of the PR committee. She likes to write about pop culture, lifestyle, and wellness. Aside from Her Campus, Claire is undergoing training to become a certified group exercise instructor. She is a first-year Texas A&M University student majoring in Telecommunication Media Studies. Claire likes to go on hikes, visit new restaurants, spend time with her friends, and cook. She enjoys going to the rec center or watching movies with her roommates in her spare time. She is originally from Austin, Texas, and has two dogs, Penny and Pepper.