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Stressed about your upcoming exams? While you’re spending hours hitting the books and preparing, don’t forget that regular study breaks are much-needed. In fact, you may even notice yourself hindered with frustration if you don’t take time to decompress. So, before that awful burnout hits, take a look at these de-stress techniques you can practice on your study break.
1. Clear your mind with free-writing or journaling.
You know that totally relatable moment after studying where you feel like your brain can’t possibly hold anymore information? This mental clutter is seriously stressful, and it’ll be hard picking back up after your study break if you don’t clear your mind.
The quick fix? Stash away your study materials so that anything stress-inducing is out of sight, leaving only a journal and a desk lamp in your work area. Then, jot away! Whether you free-write or compose a structured journal entry about your day is totally up to you. Either way, you’re “clearing out” some of that stress that’s fogging your mind.
2. Enjoy a cup of coffee.
Forget about quickly downing a cup of black coffee solely for the caffeine boost. This time, take a moment and actually enjoy the blissful experience of sipping your favorite brewed flavors. And if coffee isn’t your thing? A warm cup of tea works wonders as well.
3. Lay back and listen to music.
It doesn’t matter if it’s classical or Cardi B. Music is an age-old stress-buster, and it works like a charm. Go ahead and grab your headphones so you can kick back with your favorite playlist. Oh, and some blankets and pillows to lounge back on don’t hurt, either!
Scared you’ll end up snoozing if you lay around with some music on your study break? Try reaping the stress-busting benefits of exercise instead. Taking a brisk walk is a great way to decompress while still keeping your mind alert and focused. We also suggest grabbing a water bottle and taking your walk outdoors (rather than walking the halls of your campus library), because spending time in nature is a great stress-buster, as well. Of course, you can still bring along a pair of headphones and enjoy your favorite playlist.
There’s something so calming about a hot shower or bath. Plus, you can totally maximize the relaxation aspect with some bath bombs and shower melts, and possibly even a plush robe you can jump into afterwards.
6. Practice meditation or yoga.
From organic chem to chants of “ohm.” Your study break is sure to be rejuvenating if you spend it practicing mindfulness. Whether you stretch into Warrior II on your favorite yoga mat, or fall deep into a quiet meditation is up to you. You can also easily take your space from a productive study area to a zen escape simply by pulling out your favorite pillows, flipping on some calming music (or ambient sounds), and diffusing your favorite tranquilizing scent.
7. Grab a friend for a quick video game.
De-stress techniques don’t always involve quiet surroundings and meditative activities. Sometimes a quick bout of fun in between all the hard work is the way to go. If that’s your style, how about rounding up a friend or two and playing your favorite video game? You can even turn it into a little friendly competition with yourself. For example, for every game you win, you get to extend your study break a little bit longer.
What de-stress techniques work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.