Study breaks help give you a short duration to unwind and relax and temporarily forget about the stress of mounting syllabus. However, doing them right is imperative to derive the most out of the 30 minutes of respite.
Duration of the Break
The duration of the break you take heavily impacts your ability to concentrate. It’s is advisable to take study breaks every ninety minutes or so to enhance concentration, and ability to understand and absorb. Taking breaks that last for more than 30 minutes end up actually hampering not only the study flow, but also the ability to concentrate better. By taking larger breaks, one may actually put themselves at risk of actually taking longer to redeem the previously built concentrative flow. This means starting over, and putting in the extra effort of getting your mind into study mode again. A short break of no more than thirty to forty minutes can actually help refresh your mind and improve concentration. The mind feels fresh and ready to take on new information.
What you do during your break is as important as the duration. There are some activities which may actually tire your mind and body, instead of preparing you for another round of revision. Refrain from partaking in activities which include screens of any kind, eg. cell phones, television, iPads etc, as they may tire your eyes, making you more sleeper than awake. Short walks, painting, playing with a pet, cooking etc are better activities to help concentration as they reduce stress hormones without harmful omissions like blue light. Taking a hot shower also helps relax muscles and refresh the mind and body.
Food plays an important role in reducing stress and boosting concentration. Making healthy choices in terms of food and snacks is important while studying, as food can directly affect concentration and stress levels.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It is no secret that omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for brain health and memory. Our brains are made of 60% of fat out of which half of those fats are of the omega-3 fatty kinds. Fatty fish like Salmon and trout are good options to obtain omega-3 fatty acids.
- Turmeric- A staple in the Indian diet, turmeric is another brain boosting superhero. An active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is able to reach the brain directly, and benefit memory, reduce stress levels and improve cell growth.
- Fruits and Vegetables- Vegetables like broccoli and fruits like blueberries and oranges provide vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin K. Including fruits of this nature along with a handful of pumpkin seeds makes for not only a healthy and delicious snack but will also keep you full, preventing unwarranted snack breaks between studying.
- Dark Chocolate and Coffee- Two sinful indulgences that form the perfect combination are dark chocolate and coffee. Inclusive of flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants, both these eatables, while delicious in nature, must be consumed in moderation to prevent adverse after effects like sleeplessness, jittery ness and possible heart palpitations.
If you don’t have your parents around to periodically supply you with all these delicious and healthy snacks and meals, fret not. An easy solution would be to stack up on these ingredients beforehand, and prepare a trail mix consisting of dry fruits and dark chocolate and store it in an easily accessible container. Keep the container and fruits within your reach to snack conveniently while studying, or simply take a break and enjoy them.
These three points on making the most out of study breaks are all you need to effectively re-energize your mind and body during the stressful exam period.
Feature Image Credits: The Secret Yumiverse
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