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Mental Health

7 Study Breaks You Can Take Without Your Phone

With the new school year approaching, it is finally that time again, to pick up your studying materials and get into the studying grind. Soon you will have to join the hordes at Powell, and you better make sure it’s worth your time. Nothing is worse than sitting down at a cramped desk in the library, between two sleeping students, only to realize that you’ve read through the same sentence four times and still don’t understand the first word. So, keep your productivity high while you escape from the summer slump and take a few of these short study breaks away from the blue light of your phone.


Go For A Walk Outside

Fresh air can really help the brain, so take a moment to get up and go outside. Here in sunny southern California. and on our beautiful campus, there are plenty of places to walk outside and no excuses not to. The sunshine and the cool breeze can make a walk relaxing and take some pressure off you.


Take A Few Minutes To Clean Up Your Workspace

A cleared off desk can help you clear your mind.  With random bills, last quarter’s exams and a handful of inkless pens lying on your desk, you might have a hard time concentrating on studying.  Make one of your study breaks a time for you to clear off that mess so you can get back to focusing and rid yourself of any excuses not to.


Spend Some Tme With Your Friends

If you can, try coordinating your study breaks with a friend!  Doing so will ensure that you still work for the same amount of time that you intended to, but the added social interaction will also allow you to get out of your own head and really relax since you’ll be focused on your friend.  Make sure that during your break time you don’t spend it thinking about any studying you still have left or deadlines still looming over your head.


Move Your Body

If you have time for a slightly longer break, it might be a good time to exercise. Through the release of endorphins, exercise helps to improve your mood and serves as one of the best antidotes to stress. If exercising at the gym makes you sweat before you get there, you can also try at-home videos to help your body get fit and your mind get focused. Even as little as 10 minutes of exercise will get the blood flowing to your brain and help you maintain your productivity.


Eat A Snack

Getting the munchies while you study? Taking a short break to snack on something healthy can help increase your energy levels. The right kinds of snacks help to improve your concentration, focus and productivity. Snacks like nuts, dark chocolate, fruit, yogurt, veggies, and popcorn are a few good choices. Snacks with high sugar contents can lead to sugar crashes that make you feel more tired, so watch out for those.


Drink Some Water

Staying hydrated helps to make sure your brain keeps functioning properly. You should be drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses, which is about 2 liters or half a gallon of water each day. If plain water gets a little boring for you, try switching it up by adding some fruit to your drink to make it more interesting. To easily check to make sure you’re not dehydrated, pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it doesn’t immediately return to its normal position, you’re probably dehydrated and should drink up!


Take A Nap

In order to power nap and to get a quick boost of alertness, you should nap for only 10 to 20 minutes. For cognitive memory processing, though, some experts think you need around 60 minutes. Hour long naps can be dangerous, though, because at about an hour, you start to risk falling into deeper stages of sleep. So, don’t let this nap drag out into 4 hours of sleep and keep you from doing your work!


While I’m sure most of us immediately reach for our phones when we decide to take a study break, that might not be the best idea. Going from one screen to the next doesn’t necessarily give us the best options for letting our minds rest. So, to really take efficient and helpful study breaks, try a few of the above options and let your mind really take a moment away from the screens, the studying and the panic that inevitably ensues as we approach this next school year. Good luck and happy studying!

Alyssa Chew is a fourth-year Electrical Engineering major at UCLA. She is excited to be a Features Writer for Her Campus at UCLA and to get involved and explore Los Angeles. Alyssa hopes you enjoy reading her articles!
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