In the realm of academics, the pursuit of excellence often drives students to dedicate every moment to studying and immersing themselves in notes, study guides, and textbooks. However, amongst this lies a factor that is constantly undermined and overlooked – breaks. Contrary to popular belief, taking a mere pause allows your brain to refresh and reset. The power of a pause is so strong, effective and crucial in making all your commitments count!

The Importance and Benefits of Breaks:

While to many, it may seem conflicting to prioritise and implement regular, purposeful breaks within their study routine, effective breaks are very important, serving as a mental reset and providing renewed energy to maintain and enhance your ability to focus. Such interludes allow your body to release all the accumulated stress straining you from fully understanding and absorbing information; likewise, constant breaks help improve concentration, allowing you to retain and memorise content and improving recall!

Studying for long periods only increases stress levels and chances of errors as it can cause your brain to become fatigued and to begin to retract from the task at hand, undermining your efforts. Moreover, it can progress to study-related anxiety and also drain energy and motivation due to frustration and the pressure to get things done. Overlooking the importance of taking a break paves the way for burnout, a state of physical/emotional exhaustion.

Regular, effective breaks are proven to boost productivity and are very successful in allowing your body to revitalise; by implementing these calming intervals, you can improve your performance regarding the task at hand.

So, what can you do?

Often, when the idea of a break comes to mind, many look to social media and view scrolling through TikTok as an effective way to revitalise the mind; however, this is futile. Rather, other methods such as going for a walk, taking a nap or even stretching suffice as effective ways to unwind. It is also important that these intervals are tailored to your preferences and that you find activities that you enjoy and allow you to re-energise, focus and breathe.

Physical Activity

Whether it may be going for a walk, a 10-minute workout or even a stretch, moving your body allows you to let go of pent-up stress and anxiety from studying and to relax.

Hobbies

Immerse yourself in activities you enjoy! They might be baking, going to the park and playing sports, playing an instrument or reading! Do something you enjoy, that takes your mind off work and grant yourself the opportunity to clear your head from all thoughts!

Change of environment

Sometimes, a change of scenery is enough to clear your head, whether that includes stepping outside, going for a walk or simply moving to a different room – go somewhere that uplifts your mood and relieves your mind. A new environment may also inspire new creative ideas!

Relaxation and Mindfulness Activities

Things such as meditation, deep breathing and yoga serve as effective ways to alleviate stress and improve focus. Even mindfulness colouring and other simple exercises help with clarity of mind.

Reconnect

Talk to a friend or family member and allow them to help distract you from the stresses of your academics and tasks and boost your spirits!

The path to academic success is proven to not be solely based on the quantity of hours of work and studying put in but also on the quality of the hours spent. It’s crucial that we recognise the importance of taking a pause from our studies and incorporating these interludes into our study routines to allow our bodies to reset - enabling concentration and retention of knowledge. Always remember to give your mind time to restart and recharge - never forget to pause, breathe and let go!