It’s 2021, and for most college students, the semester is off to a busy start. With readings, assignments, quizzes, and midterms just around the corner, the impact of Zoom University continues to take its toll. Lectures feel longer (despite being on double speed), and our schedules are more confusing as we balance live classes with recorded content. Minutes stretch into hours, and days seem to blur together. Try as we may to get organized and stay motivated, it can be tough — especially when there aren’t many places to go or things to do to break up our day! Need a quick distraction? Here are 10 activities to do when you need a study break.
1. Go for a walk
It may be cold outside, but the fresh air and physical activity are totally worth it! Bundle up and get moving. Walking is a great way to reset your perspective, give your eyes a break from screens, and just think. Alternatively, you can use this time to fulfill some of your social obligations by phoning a friend or walking with a buddy.
2. Grab a coffee
Nothing gives you that renewed jolt of energy like coffee! Grabbing coffee is an excellent study break option for when you feel your productivity starting to lag. It also forces you to get dressed and leave the house if you haven’t already.
3. Karaoke and Just Dance!
Looking for a fun study break activity to do with friends or roommates? Crank up the music and do some karaoke or Just Dance! This activity doesn’t need to be fancy — pull up the lyrics to your favorite songs on Spotify or find some Just Dance videos on YouTube. If you have a smart TV, you can even project the lyrics or dance onto your big screen. Let loose and sing/dance your heart out!
If you’ve been sitting at a desk or in bed all day, use your study break time to stretch out. Roll your shoulders back, go for a run, do some yoga or pilates, or turn up the heat with a HIIT workout — anything to get your body moving and releasing those endorphins! Your body and your mind will thank you later.
5. Catch up with a friend
In an era of social distancing, it can be hard to maintain those social ties. Use a study break to catch up with a friend by giving them a call or inviting them over for an outdoor hangout. Combine this study break option with other ideas for a bit more fun.
6. Pick up an old/new hobby
Read. Watch. Work. Sleep. Repeat. If your day looks like this, it may be time to incorporate a hobby into your schedule and study break rotation. Pick up an instrument or try drawing. Practicing a new skill for even half an hour a day will enable you to hone that skill while also giving your mind a necessary break from textbooks and lectures. It will also make your day a bit more interesting and give you something to look forward to and work toward!
7. Play a game or do a puzzle
Playing cards, chess, or board games are quick and easy ways to break up your day and reconnect with your inner child. Round up a few friends for a game of Codenames, Settlers of Catan, or Spit or work on a puzzle together. Use Alexa for other game options such as Escape the Room or “name that song.”
8. Bake or cook something
Baking and cooking serve two main purposes: firstly, the end result is food (and who doesn’t love food?!), and secondly, the process itself can be fun! Look up an interesting recipe online or try making a family-favorite. You can even challenge friends to a cook-off or bake-off if you have time.
9. Watch an episode of TV
Watching TV is a classic study break option that works well if you’re feeling lazy. Just make sure that when you say you’re watching one episode, you don’t end up binge-watching the whole season!
Are you an exhausted college student? Cuddle in and recharge with a nice nap! Research shows that napping helps boost energy levels, memory, cognitive skills, and creativity. Get some extra sleep by setting an alarm for 20-30 minutes of nap time.
Avoid burnout this semester by adding study breaks into your daily routine. Get moving with Just Dance, stretches, or a walk, or be social by grabbing coffee with a friend. There may not be many places to go right now due to the pandemic but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks. In fact, you should probably be taking more breaks this semester with all the screen time! Use these study break ideas to safely put some of the fun back into college during these trying times.