For optimal concentration, we recommend that students study for 40 to 90 minutes before you take a quick 10 to 15 minute break. If you work for too long without a break, you’ll burn out and lose focus; if you take too long of a break, you’ll have a hard time getting back into the flow of studying. Here are some fun and beneficial study breaks that will help you up your concentration.
Exercise is highly recommended as a study break activity. According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise stimulates regions of the brain that release a chemical known as BDNF, which is known to renew memory circuits. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week will increase your memory function. So do some jumping jacks, push-ups, lunges, or take a walk outside to really boost your limbic system capabilities.
2. Bake some cookies
Baking can be extremely therapeutic, so if you’re particularly stressed, taking 10 minutes to make some break-and-bake cookies can really help you relax. Plus, when they’re done, you’ll have a snack to eat during your next study break!
3. 10-Minute Stretch/Yoga
Stretching helps to increase blood flow and allow your body to reset. Chances are, you’ve been sitting in the same position for a long time, so getting up to stretch out your body will be energizing and refreshing. YouTube search 10-Minute Yoga and tons of results will pop up — just pick one!
Coloring is another activity that is extremely therapeutic and great for when you’re really feeling the pressure. There are plenty of pictures online that are easy to print out, or you can go to any bookstore and pick from a multitude of coloring books (for example, there are lots out there that are full of soothing and mindful pictures of mandalas). Put on some relaxing music, grab some markers or colored pencils, and get to work.
5. Call a friend
If you’ve been studying alone for a while, calling a friend to talk is a great way to let your brain to switch gears for a bit and allow yourself some human interaction.
Use these study break ideas to make the most out of your study time. Get ready to crush your tests!