I don’t know about you, but being inside for the better part of the last month has made it feel both incredibly long but also like it’s gone by incredibly fast, so exams crept up on me. Last semester, I gave some tips for why you should take study breaks and some of the ways to make the best of it but that list isn’t particularly useful this time around – it was all about seeing your friends and going out to social things like fitness classes. Since a lot of that is no longer an option, today I bring you an updated list of ways to make the most of a study break while keeping yourself and others safe.
Like I said last semester, taking a break is actually one of the best things you can do to be productive while you’re studying for exams. Giving your brain the time to rest in between studying or writing final papers lets it recharge so that you can come back and give 100% to whatever you’re working on. It’s important for your mental health too – burnout is common during exams and taking the time to care for yourself is one of the best ways to keep it at bay.
Go for a Walk Outside
Even with physical distancing guidelines in place, public health officials still say that you are still able to go for walks outside, provided you are not self-isolating. Parks may be closed for activities but are open for people to walk through. Taking a walk, even a short one around the block, is a good way to get your blood flowing and give your brain a break from all the information it’s taking in while you study.
Make a Meal
This is a double whammy- you’re taking a study break and directly taking care of your wellness by feeding yourself. Pick a night to tackle making yourself a home-cooked meal, whatever that means to you. Maybe you try a new recipe for the first time or take a crack at making your dad’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but take a dedicated few hours to disconnect and make yourself a quality meal you put heart into.
Clean/Organize Your Study Space
Maybe the past few weeks have zapped your motivation to clean or maybe you’re like me and are preparing to move, which makes it feel like cleaning is useless, but this is the sign you needed to take some time to clean up the area where you’re studying. Dust and wipe down the surfaces, put clutter back in its place and generally get your study space looking all shiny and new. Clutter or the constant thought of “I need to clean this” can be distracting for people, and taking the time to clean up where you’re doing work will give you both an extra boost of happiness when you see the clean space but also the extra productivity that will come from not having to think about the cleaning you should be doing.
Do Something Creative
I don’t think I’m the only one who picked up a new hobby while we’ve been inside – a study break is the perfect time to try something new or get creative. If you’ve been wanting to draw, dance or learn some new creative skills, now is a great time to try. There are millions of videos of people doing creative things on YouTube, so take a break and learn a TikTok dance or learn to paint with Bob Ross and challenge your mind in a different way.
Play a Game With Friends
Just because you can’t go to your regular board game night to destress during exams doesn’t mean you can’t play a game with your friends! Many sites are offering both online versions of board games, or you can buy online community games like Jackbox that lets you connect and play games with friends online. Schedule a game night with some friends to take a quality break from studying and connect with your favourite people.
It can be hard to separate work from downtime, especially when studying at home, but taking breaks will help you concentrate better when you are studying and improve your overall mood and mental health during what is a pretty weird exam period. Stay safe everyone!
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