Types of Study Breaks for Every Situation

Time is fleeting. Madness takes it's toll. That's right, exams are here!

One thing I continuously struggle with when it comes to knuckling down is reminding myself to take breaks. Once I get in the groove of studying, it's so difficult to snap out of it! I have to remind myself that my body is not a machine: I need food, rest, energy, hydration, and a peaceful environment in order for me to work properly and efficiently. 

I was thus inspired to make a list of situations in which I would need to take study breaks, and what kinds of things I would do in these breaks. Let's see if I can practice what I preach this time around!

  1. 1. "I've been studying for hours!"

    One of the most important study breaks to take. Even if you think you have energy juice to continue for another three hours, STOP for a break! Have a snack like a bowl of popcorn or a granola bar, watch an episode of Friends, and then you can hit the books again. Re-energizing and re-fueling your body is vital to successful study sessions.

  2. 2. "I'm so stressed..."

    The stress phase almost cannot be avoided when it comes to studying for exams. Even though it may feel natural to want to push through it, you are allowed to take breaks if you're feeling stressed. In fact, it is encouraged! Try taking deep breaths, listen to the sounds arround you, quieten your mind by staring at the ceiling, and just trying to relax points of tension in your body.

  3. 3. "I can't focus!"

    Ever found yourself stuck reading the same paragraph ten times and nothing is sticking in the old noggin? It's time to take a break! Recenter your mind by getting your body moving. Take a walk, have a dance party, play with your dog, and get some air flowing in your lungs and blood pumping to your brain!

  4. 4. "I can't get this off my mind..."

    Focusing on your work may not take first priority when something else is on your mind. Whether it's a boy, a girl, a fight you had with your best friend, or a niggling feeling that's eating away at you, take a break and write it down. Get those feelings out of your head and onto paper so that you can work with them physically to find a solution.

  5. 5. "My mind and body are so tired!"

    I experience this almost daily during the semester when I find I have spread myself too thin between studies and work. It is usually a result of neglecting myself, my nutrition, and my sleeping schedule. Set a timer for a 25-30 minute nap- any longer than that and you will hit REM sleep. When you wake up, pour yourself some tea or an energy drink, and get back on that grind.

  6. 6. "This content is boring!"

    Hey, if all of university was fun and easy, we'd probably never get any work done! If you're struggling to memorize your course work, check out my previous article, Alternative Study Techniques for Success, on how to switch up your study methods and make your work easier to engage with and remember.

  7. 7. "The neighbours are too noisy!"

    If the noise of the outside world is becoming too much for you to handle, get your earphones out and listen to some calming study playlists- There are plenty on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. I recommend classical music, lofi hip-hop, ocean waves, and smooth jazz.

  8. 8. "I understand my work, but I also don't..."

    Pair up with someone who is not in your class and try and teach them the concepts you only half understand. This will help you mentally work through the concept in a practical way, as well as help you remember it fully!


I certainly hope that this gave you the mojo and energy you needed to plan the most efficient study schedule yet!