8 Study Break Activities In 20 Minutes Or Less

The week of torture has arrived—back-to-back exams and papers that will surely have you camping out in the library all week. Opening your planner and seeing a never-ending list of assignments is like getting struck with instant depression. The thought of studying constantly is one most students like to hide in the back of their brains until last minute. This studying slump can easily be avoided, though, by setting aside some you time.

Every couple hours take a 20 minute break to do something completely unrelated to studying, allowing your mind and body a quick rest and rejuvenation. So before you threaten to bring a sleeping bag into the library, relieve some stress by taking 20 minutes to clear your mind with these activities.

1) Enjoy the weather – Whether it be sunny, rainy or snowy where you are, there are always way to enjoy Mother Nature. If it’s a nice day get some friends together and try your hand at a game of disc golf. For those in chillier states, build a snowman or go sledding! You loved it when you were a kid, so why can’t you still?

2) Watch a short TV show episode – Choose a show that will make you laugh and lighten some stress. My pick: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. This show is perfect because the episodes are shorter than a half hour and are guaranteed to always be hilarious, thanks to Danny DeVito.

3) Go get food with friends – Being cooped up in a dorm room all day gets boring and tiring, which leads many students to fantasizing about napping. Naps are great, but it’s hard to get back in the study grind after sleeping. Ask your roommate to go to the cafeteria with you and eat something to help you wake up. Take this time to socialize like crazy before sticking your head back in the books.

4) Play a videogame – Mario Kart is the best game to play when you only have about 20 minutes to spare. If you don’t have the game, someone in your dorm is bound to have it, as it seems to be a college staple. Challenge friends and take any school-related frustration out on the game.

5) Take pictures – Photographer or not, snapping photos is a creative way to relax. When my friends and I go to the library we bring our cameras so we can shoot in the building or outside whenever we feel like a little break. Getting fresh air and a fresh view is soothing and you’ll instantly feel more relaxed when you come back to studying.

6) Download new music – If listening to music while studying is distracting for you, use the study break time to get your fix. It’s inevitable that music heightens your mood, so find songs that are guaranteed to restore your energy. And if you prefer music while studying, stick with songs that don’t have words—lyrics are distracting when reading and writing, and it’s easy to accidentally write what you’re hearing in your notes instead of what you meant to say.

7) Clean your room – An activity that’s typically dreaded can actually serve as a stress-relieving outlet. Ignore the desk area (remember, this is your time to take your mind off school) and focus on putting clothes away or vacuuming. I know that sounds super boring but it’s surprising how satisfied you feel afterwards. Plus, a clean room is always a better study environment.

8) Quick workout session – Keeping in mind that study breaks should be around only 20 minutes, a short workout tape or a couple miles on the treadmill is all you need. There are a million follow-along videos to choose from, but one that features a variety of workouts is ideal. If you want a calm workout, try a yoga or pilates tape. Or if studying has you feeling the need to get rid of some anger, try a more intense workout like Insanity (similar to P90X) or Jillian Michaels.

Switch up any activities to better suit your interests, but always keep the mindset that this is time for your brain to rest. Retaining information is easier when studying is divided into sessions, instead of one long sitting. Don’t freak out and think you don’t have the 20 minutes to spare, because you do (think of how much time wasted on Facebook while studying!). Not only will your brain and body thank you, but so will your parents when they see your GPA rise!

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Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson is a junior at Michigan State University working towards her journalism degree with a specialization in documentary film. She designs and writes for a campus magazine and is a server at Bob Evans. When Jordyn has free time she likes to watch movies and her favorite show Breaking Bad, spend hours on tumblr, go on adventures with friends and travel.
Jordyn Timpson

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