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10 study break hacks that will keep you focused

It’s the middle of exam season and we know you’re working really hard to prepare for your tests in math, history, English, science and more. Every girl needs a break sometimes though. According to the New York Times "taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity—and skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion."

*This* is why you should make a study schedule that dictates not just when, but also how you will take a break. Each of your breaks should be for the same amount of time (10-20 minute breaks are the best) and you should stick to the time you set. Keeping your mind engaged during these breaks so that it doesn’t completely shift focus is mega important. Here’re 10 activities that are great ways to ensure just that.

1. Take a walk or go for a run. After a long study sesh in your room or in the library it is always good to go outside and get some fresh air. Any sort of exercise gets your blood flowing, will re-energize you and aid in concentration. Whether you're studying or not, exercise is great for both your physical and mental well-being.

2. Make yourself a healthy snack. You’re bound to get hungry after a few hours, so use your study break to make yourself a light and nutritious snack. While it may be easier to just grab a bag of chips or order carry-out, take the time to make yourself something that that has the necessary benefits to sustain you. Plus, making food is a low-thought activity that will take your mind off of studying without completely causing you to lose focus. Click here for nine easy-to-make noms to munch on.

3. Stretch. Sitting in the same position for a long period of time is likely to make your muscles tense. Taking a short break to stretch out your body will help you relax. Yoga or meditation are also great ways to spend your short free-time. 

4. Phone a friend. By "phone" we mean actually call someone and talk to them. Don’t use social media or text, as those activities are likely to absorb your attention and completely take your mind off your task. Not to mention, if you've been in solo study mode for a while, you probably haven’t actually said anything out loud for quite some time. Call a friend or family member and have a short convo about whatever you want. Tip: If you don’t understand something you’ve been studying, slip a question in during your chat to see what your phoner knows.

5. Switch up your study spot. No matter what you do, studying is going to get boring after a while—especially when you’re sitting in the same place and position for a long time. Remedy this by using your break to move your study sesh to a different location, like another room or even outside. Hopefully, the change in setting will motivate you to keep up the good work.

6. Do something creative. Creative activities such as drawing, coloring or origami can boost your energy and your mood while also clearing your mind without losing your concentration. Even if you’re not artistic, expressing your creativity is a fun way to de-stress and relax before hitting the books once more.

7. Take a shower. We all know that rejuvenated feeling of stepping out of a shower. Seriously, it’s like being reborn! If you are feeling like a study zombie take a quick 5-10 minute shower to refresh your body and mind. 

8. Tidy up. It can definitely be difficult to focus amidst chaos. Use your study break to clean up your study area. Not only is picking up a stimulating activity but it will be nice to be in a more relaxed setting once you start working again.

9. Dance Party. In the spirit of iCarly’s random dancing, turn on your fave tunes and just rock out during your next pause from studying. It will boost your mood and also get your blood flowing, plus we can’t think of a more awesome way to spend your break. Remember to switch off the music or turn on some songs with a calming rhythm once you dive back into the books.

10. Solve a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. These brain-stimulating games are a fun way to take your mind off of the subject you’ve been absorbed in for hours. You can put your knowledge to the test while still keeping your mind engaged, making it easy to transition back into the study-zone.

What's your go-to activity during your study breaks? What subject are you currently studying for? Let us know in the comments.

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by Maddie Smith | 12/9/2016
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