During finals week, it's easy to get burnt out from non-stop studying, or attempting to do so. Therefore it's important to take study breaks in order to refresh your mind and keep your energy up. Unfortunately, many people, including me, who try to take study breaks end up procrastinating instead. Study breaks can be healthy and helpful in the studying process, while procrastinating is an unhealthy form of denial and pulling away from the studying process. So here are some examples of "study breaks" that are actually just a form of procrastination:
- Scrolling through TikTok and/or making TikToks. As many of us now know, it is very easy to get sucked into a TikTok hole as I call it. You open up the app to get a few laughs in and suddenly it's been an hour and a half and all you've done is watch people dance and make jokes on your phone.
- Scrolling through Instagram/Twitter. I see this as a separate example from TikTok because with Instagram and Twitter you are bound to at some point catch up to the posts you have already seen whereas TikToks are practically endless. However, this is not an excuse because it can still waste a good amount of time.
- Streaks. It doesn't take that long assuming you don't have 20 plus streaks and assuming that you send the same picture to all of them at once. But it can lead to other distractions like watching stories, going through memories, playing with filters, posting on your private story about how much you HATE finals week. And do we really care that much about streaks anymore?
- Online Shopping. Your Christmas shopping can wait until after you're finished with your finals, I promise. And if you didn't get them on black friday then you've missed the good sales anyways. Avoiding this form of procrastination not only saves you studying time, but it also saves you money.
- Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and other streaming sites. "Just one episode." All I have to say is: yeah right.
Now here are some examples of study breaks that will help you have a more effective and less stressful finals week:
- Naps. If you ask my roommate she can tell you that I am not only a lover of naps, but a master of them. A lot of people say that they dislike naps because they feel groggier when they wake up, but that's simply because they aren't doing them correctly. There are three types of naps; the first type of nap is the power nap. A power nap is a 20 minute nap that will refresh you and help you feel less tired for a good amount of time before needing rest again. This is perfect when you don't have enough time for a real nap. Real naps are 90 minutes long allowing you to take part in a full sleep cycle. If you take a nap lasting anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes though you will wake up groggier and unable to get back into studying.
- Meal breaks are very important and I specify "meal" not snack because I notice a lot of people simply snack throughout finals week so that they don't have to "waste" an hour going somewhere and sitting down and eating. However, I believe this is one of the best kinds of study breaks. Refresh your mind and body with a full meal and water (instead of coffee). I also think grabbing your meals with a friend to give your mind a break from thinking about school too much is a healthy necessity during finals week.
- Working out. I know you don't want to hear it, but someone has to say it. Physical exercise is not only good for your body, but it's also good for your brain. It has been proven that physical exertion releases dopamine and will make you happier. It has also been proven that cardio exercises help with anxiety. After working out you will feel accomplished and ready to get back into your studying.
Now that you have these tips on study breaks, I wish everyone a successful finals week and I ask that if you see me not following my own advice given in this article, please mind your own business.