Study break tips that will benefit you during exam week

Friday, April 23, 2021 Study break tips that will benefit you during exam week

A climber scales teh climbing wall in the Outdoor Adventures Center.

This exam week, try to focus on your mental and physical well-being as well as your studies. Adding in fun study breaks will let you relax, keep you focused and help you stay alert. Here are some exciting ways to give yourself a much-deserved mental break.

Why should I take a break?

Taking a break from studying can increase your motivation and prevent burnout. It’s helpful to give yourself a reward and feeling of gratification, so you can then easily return to your study environment. Study breaks increase your sense of control over your schedule and allow you to still enjoy your time. After a break, it will be easier to continue working and you’ll be better at remaining focused for your exams– this accountability will benefit you in the long run. If you need an extra push to consider your procrastination, check out this TED Talk for a bit of encouragement.

How often should I take a break?

According to this article, every 50 to 90 minutes you should break from the concentrated focus of studying or work. Take five minutes of break time for every 25 minutes you were studying.

What should I do during the break?
Give yourself some variety during each break and include these factors:
  1. Get physical. Move your body to relieve your joints and increase blood circulation.
  2. Be social. Call, Zoom or Facetime a friend or family member.
  3. Free your mind. Stop concentrating about the subject you are studying.
  4. Ditch the screen. Shift your eyes away from your computer, phone or tablet.
  5. Stay hydrated. Water is your ally for staying healthy and alert.

Ideas for study breaks:
30 minutes or less
  • Power nap for 10 to 20 minutes. Studies suggest this is the optimal length to increase alertness without the groggy side effects of longer sleep sessions.
  • Have yourself a personal impromptu dance session or healthy smoothie break in your apartment.
  • Take a brisk walk outside for 20 to 30 minutes. Your body will feel renewed with the fresh air and movement.
  • Create and enjoy a good snack. Carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, almonds or yogurt are a nutritious and easy choice.
  • Walk to the Nebraska Union or Nebraska East Union to pick up a coffee or hot chocolate from Starbucks.

1 hour

2 hours (or more)

A break of two or more hours is easier to accommodate when you have multiple days between exams.

  • Attend a virtual event at the Ross Media Arts Center.
  • Go rock climbing at the Outdoor Adventures Center.
  • Enjoy a round of bowling at the Husker Bowling Center in the Nebraska East Union. The center is open Tuesday through Sunday.
  • Stream a film on the RHA Movie Channel if you live in the residence halls.
  • Sleep for 8 or more hours. Deep restful sleep improves your mood and your productivity.
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