Great job! You’ve been studying a lot for that test or essay you have coming up so now it’s time to take a break.
You tell yourself it’ll be short so you pick up your phone and open TikTok, scroll through Instagram or catch up on the last bit of that TV episode you were watching.
But after a while you look at the clock and notice it’s been hours since you decided to take a break.
You’ve watched heaps of TikTok videos, tons of Instagram stories and an entire season of that TV show but you’re not feeling prepared for that assignment anymore.
You know what? That’s okay! It’s a common struggle and we’re here to help you out. Here are some ways to prevent turning breaks from only five minutes into five hours:
1. Grab a bite to eat.
It’s okay to go to the fridge and grab some food. It can be a reward for the hard work you’ve been doing.
However, remind yourself that’s all you should be doing. You want to make sure that the energy you gain from eating is put into good use – like studying!
2. Stretch your legs.
It can be bad for your health to be sitting around and studying for too long, so at least once every hour try standing up and taking a little walk around the house.
You can also do a few stretches. Try rotating your neck and your shoulders to relieve any tension that has been built up from sitting down for too long.
It’s also a good way to give your mind a break because your brain can only work productively for so long.
Close your eyes and clear your head of any thoughts – especially thoughts that are making you feel anxious.
If you need a little guidance, why not try some meditation apps like Smiling Mind or Calm? Either way you’ll return to studying feeling refreshed and with a new perspective.
4. Get necessary tasks done.
If you’re scared that you’ll find yourself getting distracted, set yourself a five-minute timer and do all the tasks that aren’t studying that you need to get done.
Answer any important emails. Send a couple of messages. Check the mailbox. Bring out the boms. Once that’s all done, it’s time to get back into it.
5. Avoid anything addictive or passive.
If you start doing an easy activity, like scrolling through social media or watching funny videos, it stimulates the reward system in your brain and gets it saying to itself, ‘Huh? Study? What study?’
Try leaving that stuff for longer breaks and tell your brain, ‘Hey, stop. You’ve got a test to ace'.
Good luck, everyone!
Words by Xenia Sanut