How to take ‘brain breaks’ during this finals season!

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With Reading, Review and Recitation week and finals coming up, it’s normal to start to feel nervous or stressed out while studying. Take a page from the book of RRR’s cousin, R&R, to give your brains the rest and relaxation they need in order to function optimally. Here are a few ideas on how to take a quick breather during dead week!

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Take a walk

It’s amazing how much a little fresh air can do for our brains. If you’re studying at the library, consider leaving your post for 10-15 minutes to walk around campus. Make sure you’re careful with your valuables, though! You can hang out around Eucalyptus Grove and breathe in the scent of eucalyptus, or take the woodsy path toward Euclid Avenue behind the East Asian Library.

Meditate/Do yoga

With the world at our fingertips these days, you can pretty much accomplish this task anywhere. Find a quiet spot and do some light stretching, or take a break to do yoga. You could even find a guided meditation video on YouTube to help relax your brain.

Read a book

At the risk of pulling more information into your already-crowded brain, reading a book that makes you happy can ease the stress of your upcoming exams. Maybe something with lots of pictures to relieve some of the strain on the left side of your brain.

Go for a bite to eat

When in doubt, food is usually not a bad idea. Don’t forget to eat when you’re studying for your exams, because you need brain food in order for your brain to function. Treat yourself and your brain to a delicious meal.

Call up your friends

It’s very important not to isolate yourself when you feel overwhelmed by school, work or anything else in life. Seek the comfort of people who care about you, and maybe schedule group study sessions or some time to hang out together after a long day. Just talking to people who understand what you are going through can be a big help, even if you don’t realize it right away.

Call your family

Show some love to your parents! (My mom made me put this one up…) All jokes aside, calling your folks back home can help remind you that you have people who love and support you in everything that you do.

Hit the gym

Get! Those! Endorphins! Even when it feels like you don’t have time, but you’ve hit a mental roadblock, squeezing in a quick workout can help relieve stress and tension you didn’t even know was building up. This could be going for a walk or jog, swimming, boxing, yoga or pumping weights.

Watch some TV or a funny video on YouTube

If you want something to get your mind off of memorizing how blood pressure is regulated, cautiously switch tabs and watch a video or two to lighten your mood. I say cautiously because this can lead to a dark void of passive watching, where you’ve watched over 10 cat videos and are wondering how it suddenly got dark outside. Not speaking from experience or anything. Just be careful with this one.

Bonus tip: If you find yourself stuck procrastinating online, you can temporarily block websites with the SelfControl app for Mac. You’re welcome. 

We wish you the best of lucks with your finals and hope you remember to be kind to your brain and body. You can do this! We believe in you.

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Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].