You look at yourself in the mirror. Bloodshot baggy eyes, dehydrated skin, and hair that will shame the smelliest hippies. You stare back blankly at yourself trying to overlook the desperation and depression in your eyes and fail. You don’t know what to think, what to do. How did you get here? This is what happens when you study for hours without a break. In this case, it is you. We thought you knew better.
Research reveals studying without breaks can take a toll on us and make us abstracted. Ideally, you should have a 40-90 minute study sessions, followed by a 10-15 minute intellectual breather. Switching gears will help you be more alert and hence result in a more productive study session. So switching gear in 1. 2. 3.
Utilise this time to cater to your growling tummy. Whip up a smoothie with some fruits and berries for a full-on antioxidant punch or get a refill of coffee or tea. You can also have an apple, or a bar of chocolate or granola bar but stay away from heavy meals because they will only weigh you down.
Get up and move
Get up. Start walking. Walk towards the main door, get a taxi. Go to the airport, take a flight and never come back. We are kidding. However, we do recommend you take a small walk or just a deep breath and stretch. A bit of yoga or a bike ride works too. Light exercise increases blood flow and can improve your memory and mood. Sorry we got distracted earlier, we need a break too.
De-clutter for the better
When your mind is overridden with chaos you might want to tame your chaotic clutter. Make productive use of this time and organise your room a bit. Make your bed, sort out the notes from the last final, sort out all your laundry from “the chair” (yes we all have one), and you’ll feel a lot better. According to studies, clutter tends to make us feel restless and stressed. So give in to your dormant OCD.
YouTube and chill
Take a moment to catch up on your favourite YouTubers. Be it those addictive “What I got for Christmas” videos or the playthrough of that game you have been dying to try after exams, YouTube is the ultimate tool to calm the nerves. A stimulating TED talk can also get your energy pumping. While you are at it you might even want to check out some educational tutorials. Or not.
We know you had been battling the urge to scroll through your newsfeed all this while. You can finally let yourself off the leash for a while. Check up on your friends, scroll through your newsfeed to see how other people are having the time of their life or pretending to, or maybe stalk your crush but don’t get too lost daydreaming. Reality check awaits.
If a hot shower doesn’t calm your senses, we don’t know what will. Get inside the shower for a relaxing bath to wash away all your worries. You can also try on that face mask because you never know, you might just meet someone cute during the exams. Take this time out for self-hygiene, cut your nails and toes, brush out your hair. Remember, your body is your temple. Yes, we have ventured severely into the hippy territory.
Food for thought
To keep your mind off the edge considering solving a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. These activities are the perfect escape that will make you feel less guilty about procrastination. Additionally they encourage concentration and sharpen your skills. It’s a win-win.
Time for some shut-eye
Of course there is nothing you want more during those incessant study sessions than a bit of shut-eye. Give yourself a break, lie down, unwind and let a sense of calm take over. However you don’t want to doze off and wakeup panic-stricken hours away from your exam. Just recline. You deserve a break.