Being a student can be overwhelming. Hours of homework, studying for tests and writing papers added to being attentive in class and making time for your friends can leave you feeling fatigued. If you’re feeling stressed out, the best thing to do is get out of your current headspace for a little while and shake out all the anxiety. Try some of these “brain break” ideas the next time you’re feeling stressed.
- Take a Break: The first thing to do when you feel overwhelmed is take a deep breath. Try meditation or mindfulness practices, which have been found to ease anxiety and mental stress by making you focus on your breathing, practice gratitude and stay in the present. Play some calming music and take yourself away from your work for a little while. A power nap might also be the answer to your stress. Studies have found that a 20-minute nap is ideal to enhance motor skills and attention, and will make you feel recharged, ease stress and boost your mood.
- Exercise: According to Forbes, exercise makes you smarter. Whether it’s a quick walk across campus or a sweaty gym session, your workout will increase your energy, sharpen your focus, enhance your mood, improve your memory and help with impulse control, which keeps you focused. A study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that even five minutes of exercise can stimulate the anti-anxiety affects, so make a little time for a walk with a friend or a jog around your neighborhood each day. A great work out can also make you feel accomplished and can motivate you to get back to your work with a new, positive attitude.
- Challenge Yourself: If you’re feeling overworked, try using a different part of your brain to spark some creativity. Bake a new recipe, doodle all over a page in your notebook, do a puzzle or play a board game with friends to stimulate your brain in a new and different way. Lighting up different pathways in the brain makes you smarter by forming new connections and focusing your mental power on something that isn’t your homework can make you feel accomplished, but not burnt out.
- Change Your Environment: Turn times of stress into opportunities of exploration by changing up your work environment. Head to the other side of campus and walk around a library or academic building you’ve never been in before. Try a new coffee shop or restaurant where you can work in a new place. Find a spot with lots of sunlight to help your mood. Changing your location can feel exciting and will make you feel motivated to get to work.
If you prefer to work from the comfort of your own apartment, switch up the furniture in your space. Designate a corner of your apartment as your own, personal “home office” to get yourself into a good rhythm. Pick a space that feels removed from the hustle and bustle of your every day life, to help establish that space as a work-only zone.
Furniture rental can be a great option to ensure your apartment has the proper furniture for your study space. You can rent packages with pre-selected furnishings or choose your own pieces. Either way, furniture rental gives you the flexibility to choose the ideal furniture without the stress, hassle and cost of buying your own furniture.
Even if it seems like there is no time to do anything but your homework, try to schedule one brain break per day to help keep yourself sharp, motivated and happy while you complete your degree.
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