Why you should take study breaks - and how to make them productive
Taking productive study breaks requires more than surfing social media... Source: Bruce Mars/Unsplash

Study breaks are an important part of achieving your potential, helping you stay focused and motivated. But how do you ensure your intermission doesn’t turn into a day-long Netflix binge?

A productive study break should leave you feeling refreshed and energised to return to your studies with renewed focus, allowing you to push on with your studies. 

If you’re struggling to keep your breaks to short bursts or come back not feeling refreshed, read the below tips to ensure your breaks are as productive as possible.

Do something completely different to your studies

To get the most out of your breaks you need to give your brain a rest. This means you need to activate a different part of your mind. If you’ve been reading or writing, try doing something active or cooking. If you’ve been reciting lines or playing an instrument, try sitting down with a book.

Give yourself a chance to rejuvenate Source: Giphy

You want to let your brain shut down and recuperate for a little while, so try not to do anything that requires memory recall. Now’s not the time for trivia quizzes or crosswords!

By allowing your brain to have a breather, it has time to absorb the information gleaned from your previous study session and will finish up ready to process brand-new topics.

Help your mind feel refreshed

It can be tempting to have a nap or comfort eat when you have a break from your stressful studies – but this can leave you feeling even groggier than before.

If you’re feeling worn out, a short meditation session can help rejuvenate your mind.

There are plenty of guided meditations on YouTube. Not only will these give you a short break, but they’re also great for reducing pre-exam anxiety.

The benefits of meditation are tenfold, bringing you clarity, resilience, peace and focus. You’ll be able to return to your studies with a refreshed mind ready to absorb some more information, rather than feeling groggy or slow after a big meal or a nap.

Leave your study space

Having a designated study space can be a great way to remain focused. Choose a room or place where you study, and make this area strictly studying only. It could be the library, your home office or a particular cafe.

When you need a break, make sure you leave this space and only return when you’re ready to hit the books again. This will keep a strong mental association with the place you study, helping you remain focused.

By leaving the area for a break, your brain will understand it’s time to switch off and do something else. Be strict with this, and you’ll maintain a healthy study-life balance, supporting your mental health during stressful times.

Leaving your study break is great for your mind – especially if you can go outdoors. Source: Jonathan Pendleton/Unsplash

Taking study breaks can feel counterproductive if you have a looming deadline or upcoming exam, but the benefit of having useful study sessions and energising breaks can drastically increase your learning potential.

So next time you’re about to get lost in a day-long Netflix sesh, remember to leave the space you’re in, listen to a meditation video through your headphones and allow your mind to rest – your future self will thank you for it!

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