Taking breaks from studying is clearly important so that you don’t overwork yourself and are the most efficient when studying. However, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do in this time that is beneficial for rejuvenating yourself. Luckily, I am sharing my tips on what to do in study breaks that have worked for me and others! These ultimately involve creating different associations between studying and taking a break to properly engage and relax your brain, respectively.
Change the Scenery:
The best way to create a different association between the two is to move to another place from where you were just studying. I recommend going outside as the atmosphere outdoors is very calming, or lying on your bed to allow your body, and subsequently your mind, to rest. This is why it is important not to study on a bed or lying down somewhere as your brain creates the association of relaxing rather than studying.
Avoid Using your Study Medium:
Another way to disassociate with studying to ensure an effective break is to not use the technology, materials or study method that you were just using in a fun or relaxing context. The most common example would be to not continuing to use your laptop in your break time after studying with it. Another example would be that if you were just doing study through reading a textbook then you shouldn’t read a book, even if it is fictional or something you enjoy. This is useful as it gives your brain a break from interpreting things from the same medium that you’ve just been focusing on for extended periods of time. It also adds to distinguishing your study and break time.
Alter your Eye Sight:
The chances are that you have been staring at a device or words on a page that are right in front of you for extended periods of time, which isn’t very good for your eyes. A good way to remedy this is to look at things in the distance (at least 20 metres away) for a while in your breaks. This gives your eyes a rest which will create a chain reaction on preventing your brain and body from feeling tired.
Since you have most likely been sitting down for extended periods of time, it might be a good idea to do some light exercise such as walking or yoga. As long as you don’t work yourself too hard physically then it is a great way to change up your stance and focus on something other than studying.
Often you will just feel both physically and mentally exhausted after studying and it is important to recognise this. In these situations it is completely valid to just flop onto your bed or another comfy place and regain a bit of energy before considering other things to do in your break or resuming studying.
Avoid Thinking About Studying:
When you are doing something in your break, you shouldn’t be thinking about anything that you have just studied or plan to study, even though it is tempting! This is beneficial as it creates the distinction of study and break to give your brain the chance to recharge and to gain a more fresh perspective to your study when you eventually resume.
Give Yourself a Reward:
It’s a nice idea to reward your hard work during your study time every once in a while to keep you motivated and happy. This could include watching a TV show or eating some junk food, as long as they are in moderation (you don’t want to get addicted and never return back to your studying!).