Taking Breaks from Studying

Finals week can really be the worst. Why do schools think it's okay to stress out their students by making every single test all on the same week? The week of your exams is stressful enough, you don't want to be stressing about the weeks that you're studying, too. If you use my tips from my Scheduling Time to Study blog post, you'll be scheduling breaks to celebrate, snack, and spend some time on those social sites that you can't stop thinking about. Taking breaks is one of the healthiest things you can do because it refreshes your mind and gets you ready for another 20 minutes of studying.

The science of taking breaks from studying.

Studies have found direct exposure to nature, viewing nature through windows, and viewing images of nature are restorative. Taking breaks, especially where nature is present will help you properly relax and be able to return to your study sessions feeling cognitively refreshed. Did you know viewing water is one of the most relaxing ways to take a break? And science proves it! One article says, "settings with views of dramatic nature murals, especially those with water, [are] more restorative than settings with window views of real, but mundane nature with built structures present."  So even if you don't have a pond in your backyard hang up a painting and start feeling relaxed.

Make sure your breaks are still productive.

It's always a temptation for me to just stop studying and not go back to it after I take a break. However, if I make my breaks productive, I'm usually more likely to come back feeling ready to keep the work going. Being productive during your breaks is not about doing more work, but rather doing things you want to do in a quick and efficient way. For example, when I'm taking a break from studying I might go for a 10 minutes run and then spend 5 minutes showering, or spend 5 minutes reading some emails and then 10 minutes watching walking my puppies. Having my breaks planned out and having an idea of what you're going to do during those breaks will make your day studying easy and productive. But no matter what you're doing, try to take a moment to relax outside.

Keep working hard studying for those finals. I know it can be rough because I'm fighting the battle along with you. Do you have any tips and tricks for me?