As students, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of studying, finishing assignments, and preparing for exams. However, it’s essential to remember that taking breaks is just as important as the studying itself. In fact, research has shown that taking regular breaks can actually improve our overall productivity and retention of information. In this blog, Student Advisor Rosie will delve into the benefits of taking study breaks and provide some practical tips to help you incorporate them into your study routine. So, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and let’s explore the world of study breaks together!

A wooden table with items on it including green plant in a yellow pot, laptop, mobile phone, pen and note pad, black rimmed glasses and an empty cup and saucer.

When you realise you’ve been studying for hours on end

Grab a snack to refuel your body, hydrate to refuel your brain and take the time to decompress by watching or reading something short. Try to avoid scrolling on social media as this can create more stimuli for your brain which means that you won’t have adequate time for your mind to recover from studying and it can also distract you breaking your focus. When you feel ready get back to studying at your own pace.

When you just can’t seem to focus

Put your study materials down for a little while and go for a walk if you can, if you can’t get outside you can walk around your space and if that doesn’t work for you focus on something else for a while in your study space. This could be watching a YouTube video on something you’re interested in or learning something new that is totally unrelated to your work, engaging in this type of activity will cause your brain to regain some of its focus and when you’re ready you can return to your material

When you’re feeling stressed out

Take some deep breaths, change your study location if you can, text your friends, even take some time to simply just sit and think, listen to some music and take some time to gather yourself

When there is something on your mind

Write down what’s going through your head, what’s worrying you and what’s going on at the moment. This can be in any format such as a diary entry, bullet points, on post it notes, whatever works for you, this can help you work things out and you can begin to plan what you are doing to do to tackle each problem or worry. It also helps to write counter points for each thing you write as if you were giving advice to somebody else in your situation!

When you’re feeling drained and exhausted

Set a timer for 25-30 mins and take a lie down and maybe even take a nap if you can, any longer and you will hit REM sleep and not wake up feeling refreshed, once you wake up have a healthy amount of caffeine and when you’re ready begin studying again

When you’re feeling bored or confused with your material

Find another way to study, see if there are any crash courses or YouTube videos available online, draw out what you’re studying with diagrams or little illustrations, if you feel like you can’t do this then writing in different coloured pens or fonts alongside doodles stickers can help too, they don’t always have to be related to your content but pictures and colours act as a stimuli which will help your brain to focus!

When you’re studying in a busy or noisy environment

Listen to some music or white noise, anything without lyrics will work better this can include classical music, soundtrack music or instrumentals of your favourite songs, this will drown out any irritating or off putting background noise and the lack of lyrics will ensure you’re not distracted.

When you only half understand something

Call or message a friend who isn’t in your class and try and teach the material to them, this will help you to mentally work through the material and remember it, if this doesn’t work for you call or message a friend who is in your class and have them explain the concepts to you

Student Advisor Rosie Sumner.

By Rosie Sumner

We hope you have enjoyed reading Rosie’s recommended study breaks.

Good luck with your exams and assessments!