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Finals are coming soon which is a time of stress, long nights and studying. It’s difficult to find a lot of time to study, especially when having to also do final projects and papers, but it’s better to plan ahead and space out your studying. Pulling an all-nighter before exams might seem like a good option so you can spend time doing other things but I promise that making time each day helps get rid of some of that stress and prevents overloading your brain. Also, taking study breaks is one of the best things to do so you don’t get burnt out. There are tons of things you probably already do, but here are a few of my favorite things to do to take a break without getting out of the groove of studying.

1. Take a walk or go outside

I like going outside when taking a break from homework or studying because it really helps to relieve stress and also clear my head. It’s not something that will make me forget what I just studied, but instead will help me remember it more because I can review in my head while walking. I take my dog on a walk, go for a run, or even just go sit outside. Sometimes this can be hard if the weather is bad (hopefully my town doesn’t get the famous end of the semester winter storm), but for most of us it’s when the weather is starting to get nicer. If going outside isn’t an option, working out is a similar way to take a break. The adrenaline from a run or doing a quick work out will motivate you to keep studying.

I don’t recommend watching television while working out because this is something that will get your mind off of studying and even cause you to become distract and want to keep watching it. I’m guilty of taking breaks by watching a television show or some videos online. It helps when I am doing homework and not studying because I do it between the homework from different classes and I am not trying to remember anything. If watching a quick episode of your favorite television show motivates you to keep studying and is a good way to take a recharging break, go for it! It’s just not for me because I can get sucked in easily, especially when I’m studying and don’t want to go back to doing it.

2. Be creative

My favorite thing to do when taking a break is to be creative. I love writing or drawing, so doing this for a little bit between studying is a good option for me. It helps keep my brain going and doesn’t let me shut off from studying. It is a way for me to relax before going back to my homework. It also is beneficial because you are relieving stress from studying without doing something that will make you too distracted. Also, you benefit from this because you get to create something you can keep like a new project or a few lines added to that short story you’ve been working on. This keeps me motivated because I know if I study for as long as I have to, I’ll get a break and get to do something I love to do but typically don’t have time to do. I also recommend reading on study breaks because it doesn’t get you out of your study flow but is a way to relax.

You’re still using your brain but aren’t overloading yourself with too much information all at once. These are things that work for me and you should find something creative that you like to do that would help make the most out of your study breaks. This could be anything like playing an instrument, making a craft or coloring.

3. Play your favorite music

I am the type of person that needs music playing in the background whenever I do any type of homework, even reading. I have certain types of music that I listen to for different tasks and it helps me focus on what I’m doing. For those who this doesn’t work for, there are many playlists on music apps that are made for studying. They don’t have lyrics so you can be focused on what you’re studying instead of what is being sung. One way I like incorporating music into studying is by taking a music break. I turn up the volume on my favorite songs and just let myself take a breather from studying. You could take a dance break to get moving and stretch from sitting down for a few hours. This is a good way to spend a study break because you’re getting to relax while listening to things you love that you wouldn’t get to while studying. Just like doing something creative, it’s an incentive to work towards because you get to do something you enjoy. I typically combine listening to my favorite music with either going outside or writing because then I’m doing even more things I love to do and it makes me more motivated.

You all should find something that you like to do during study breaks that doesn’t make you tired or shut off from school work! It helps divide up the amount of studying you do, especially if you’re spacing it out through a few days. Doesn’t studying for a couple hours a day with fun breaks seem better than cramming for hours on end the night before?

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