Studying is probably one of the most hated tasks of a student’s life. It’s boring, draining, agonising… and did we mention boring?
If you find yourself mentally drowning in the brain-sucking task of revising, taking an energising break to perk yourself up may be the secret to success. After all, studies have shown that taking breaks can improve your attention span and help you stay focused.
So read on to discover how you can refresh yourself in between all that studying!
#1. Get moving with 1-minute exercises
Simple exercises have been shown to enhance memory, creativity and intelligence, all which are much-needed for you to secure those As.
So have a go at some quick and easy exercises during your study breaks, such as jumping jacks, burpees and mountain climbers. You don’t have to commit to a full workout — a few minutes of movement to get your blood flowing will do the trick.
If exercise isn’t your thing, take a short walk instead, whether it’s to the washroom to relieve yourself or kitchen to grab a glass of water.
#2. Grab a healthy snack
Snacking is probably every student’s favourite study break. Sadly, during these stressful times, you’re probably guilty of bingeing on unhealthy junk food that’s high in fat and sugar, which can shrink the brain’s learning capabilities.
Instead of munching on potato chips, cookies and Snickers bars, reach for healthier brain foods such as bananas, avocados, seeds and nuts, as they can hike up memory and increase mental alertness. Dark chocolate is a great option too — not only does it boost attention span, but it also stimulates the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone that puts you in a good mood!
#3. Go outdoors
After being cooped indoors processing and filtering mountains of information for hours, you’re bound to need a well-deserved respite.
Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can slow down anxiety and reduce depression, anger and stress. Bonus if you can take in the sights and sounds of nature, as this can put you in a positive mood and increase your attention span when you go back to hitting the books.
So step outside, bask in some sunshine and watch the birds fly!
#4. Look into the distance
Studying for long hours can strain your eyes and put a toll on your vision, especially if you’re using your laptop or tablet. This can result in headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes.
While it’s impossible to study with your notes displayed far away (duh!), try adopting the 20-20-20 rule. That is, for every 20 minutes of studying, look into the distance that’s about 20 feet away (approximately 6 metres) for 20 seconds. The break will relax your eyes and significantly lessen the symptoms of eyestrain.
#5. Take a few mindful minutes
Exam season can be extremely stressful, what with the high expectations from your parents coupled with the unsettling feeling that you may not be able to finish your revision in time.
To calm the mind, take the time between your study sessions to incorporate some mindful activities, such as deep breathing, meditation or mindful stretches, as they can be especially effective in relieving stress. Meditation, in particular, has been shown to lower levels of cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone.
Studying doesn’t have to be the same mundane and exhausting task that we complain about all the time. All you need to do is schedule productive and energising study breaks and your future study sessions will be smooth sailing. Good luck!