It’s important to take breaks while you’re studying – your brain needs a rest, after all!
And research has shown that taking a break from your studies every ninety minutes can improve your ability to focus on your work. It can increase your productivity and creativity, too!
But what you do in those breaks can be the difference between returning to your studies refreshed and ready to focus – and falling down a YouTube wormhole or scrolling through Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for 3 hours.
Wondering what should you do instead? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of healthy study break ideas for students, which you can try next time you study:
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Meditation is a fantastic way to clear your head while you’re studying.
And meditation will do more than just help you focus on your studies – it can reduce anxiety, lower stress levels and fight depression. It may also help with other health issues like fatigue, high blood pressure and insomnia. So it’s worth giving mediation a go!
In your next study break, take a moment to sit quietly and simply focus on your breathing. Or, you can use a guided meditation video – there are plenty available on YouTube. You might also find a mediation app (like Headspace) helpful if you’re new to meditating.
2. Take a Walk
When we say “take a walk” we don’t mean “take a walk to the couch to watch an episode of Friends”…
Going outside to get some fresh air is great for your energy levels. It might be the last thing you feel like doing if you’re tired from studying, but spending some time outside can help perk you up again. Even if it’s just one trip around the block!
If you’re taking a longer study break, try walking to somewhere with nature – like your local park. Being in nature can help you de-stress and relax your mind even further.
3. Have a Snack
Snacking on something healthy can help you boost your energy levels!
The right kinds of snacks will improve your concentration, boost your ability to focus, and make you more productive – options like almonds, dark chocolate and popcorn are all good choices. And so are any of the other snacks on this list!
Watch out for the wrong kinds of snacks, though. Things like ice cream, timbits and cookies are high in sugar – so they’ll lead to a sugar crash and make you feel tired instead of refreshed.
4. Tidy Up
Cleaning up the clutter in your room can be surprisingly helpful for your productivity.
After all, it’s hard to focus when your surroundings are a mess, so take a moment to tidy up in your next study break. Something as simple as putting away the clothes you have piled up on a chair can make a world of difference.
If you’re studying at home all day, try tidying a different room in each break – you’ll finish the day with your house organized, as well as your studies completed!
5. Get Moving!
As a little as 10 minutes of exercise can increase the blood flow to your brain.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean doing crunches or push-ups. You can do a few yoga stretches, put on a pilates video, or even have a dance party to a few of your favorite tunes. Anything which gets your heart rate pumping and your blood flowing is good!
And there’s all the more reason to exercise if you’re feeling stressed about your studies. It helps you reduce your anxiety levels, because it has a calming effect on your brain.
6. Drink Water
Staying hydrated is important if you want your brain to function properly!
You should be drinking 2 litres (or half a gallon) of water per day. And yes, we know plain water can be a bit boring – so try adding a squeeze of citrus fruit, crushed raspberries, or strawberry slices to your glass of water to make it more interesting.
Want an easy way to check if you’re dehydrated? Pinch the skin on the back of your hand between your pointer finger and thumb. If it’s slow to return to its normal position, you need to be drinking more water.
7. Have a Nap
A short nap! Not a 4 hour snooze-fest where you wake up with the creases from your pillow imprinted on your face and no idea what day it is…
The best length of time for a nap is 10 to 20 minutes. That’s according to research from Case Western Reserve University, which shows that napping for this length of time will increase your productivity and ability to focus.
But napping for any longer than 20 minutes can leave your feeling groggy and unfocused when you wake up. Or it can mean you have trouble falling asleep at night. So make sure you set an alarm before you nap!
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