Take a break, before you break: As the first semester comes to an end, the brains of studying students are in need of a break

Sometimes, when things can become stressful. When that happens, it is important to nourish the brain with a break from a busy life.

Stuck in the studying sludge of the school weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break, stress piles higher and motivation falls lower, with only the sweet anticipation of creamy hot chocolate and dreamy snow days keeping you afloat. Deadlines seem to arrive quicker, final exams rule your thoughts, and studying replaces your spare time. Overcrowding your mind with notes, homework, and tests cause your mind to be overwhelmed, depleting your focus and restricting your understanding. Here’s what the experts suggest. Don’t allow studying to become a struggle; before you break your brain, give your brain a break.

Go on a Walk:

When you feel trapped between English annotations, math problems, and history notes, take a hike on a tree-lined path. Maybe take a bike ride on a nature trail. Observe the green hue of leafy trees and inhale the fresh scent of the earth. Simply immersing yourself in nature can improve your mental alertness and enhance your memorization skills for when you get back to learning. An outdoor walk may be the inspiration you need to generate creativity and solve difficult problems.

Clean your Space:

An unmade bed with pillows strewn about like sticky notes pasted chaotically, reminding you of assignments. A pile of laundry stacked high—it’s folded fabric mimicking the pages of textbooks. A crowded desk, overrun by school supplies, reflecting the overwhelmed state of your mind. An environment without clarity creates a mind without clarity. Pause and take a few minutes to organize your surroundings in order to organize your thoughts. 


In and out. Inhale and exhale. Simply slowing down and focusing on the natural process of breathing can reset your thoughts and restore your understanding. A short meditation session, such as a breathing exercise, can reduce feelings of anxiety by releasing tension and stress throughout your mind and body. 


Stretching your arms, loosening your neck, or flexing your hand may not be enough to release tension. A more efficient solution is to engage in exercise. Any physical activity, such as a short workout or a yoga routine, has been proven to increase brain activity and cognitive function, as well as refocusing concentration and strengthening memory. 


When you have been endlessly flipping through homework packets and textbook pages that cause your concentration to dull, escape into an alternate reality. Dive into the reality of the fictional characters and the twisting plot of your favorite book. Read a chapter or two of a cherished novel in order to sharpen your concentration and revive your attention span. 

Create Art:

As you study, doubt in your academic abilities may begin to creep into your mind and cloud your thoughts. Will I get a good grade? Are my answers good enough? Relieve yourself of any doubt through creating art. Whether it’s a simple sketch or a complex masterpiece, a dedicated time to express creativity and imagination can boost your confidence and help you feel more engaged as you continue learning.