The months leading up to your exams can certainly be stressful. It is a common sight to see students with their heads buried in their books, doing past-year assessments non-stop. While studying should be encouraged, you need to take care of your mental well-being as well by taking regular breaks. By stepping away from the books every now and then, you give your brain a chance to recharge, and come back ready to tackle the content at hand. Experts suggest that taking a roughly 15-20 minute break every 50-90 minutes can lead to peak productivity. With that settled, the next question is what to do during your breaks. Here are some healthy activities you can engage in before you jump back into your physics tuition homework.
Look out the window
Just looking out the window for 15 minutes may seem rather odd, but it can be surprisingly therapeutic. In its tips to help reduce the progression of myopia, the Ministry of Health recommends that you take a breather between every 30-40 minutes of near work (reading or using the computer), and spend 3-5 minutes looking at distant objects. Looking at greenery is particularly healthy because green is soothing to the eyes. Besides the physical benefits, just taking a moment to relax can help with stress relief. Since the alternative is usually catching up on social media or watching videos, looking out the window is much less mentally-taxing by comparison. It also gives you time to clear your mind or do some self-reflection. Who knows, you might even have an epiphany about that challenging physics question halfway through your break!
Meditation is a simple yet effective way to refocus your mind between intense study sessions. After a meditation session, you should have better control over your thoughts and be able to focus better on the task at hand.
There are plenty of easy-to-follow audio guides online that can guide you through a productive meditation session. You can try out a few to find out which one really gets you in a calm mood. Most guides will have you focus on a certain thing, usually their voice, to bring your mind to a ‘neutral’ space. This trains your mind to clear itself of distractions and place its attention on a single thing, a lot like studying!
Listen to music
Many students like to listen to their Spotify playlist or lo-fi beats while studying, but not many listen during their study breaks. Music has been shown to kill two birds with one stone in helping with your recuperation. It not only helps you to relax but also improves cognitive performance shortly after. While most studies showing these effects used classical music, feel free to use any type of music you enjoy. Breaks should be a reward for your hard work, so there is no point in playing music that you dread listening to.
Be sure to separate your ‘study’ and ‘study break’ playlist as well. After some time, your mind will start to associate the music with each activity. If you listen to the ‘study break’ playlist while studying, you may suddenly feel like your head is not entirely in the zone.
A sedentary lifestyle can have adverse effects on your body and mind. Getting even 15 minutes of exercise a day can do wonders for your health. Besides, exercise releases ‘happy’ hormones called endorphins, which can lift your mood quite a bit.
Of course, exercise can be a bit of a time sink, given the time taken for stretching and clean up. To expedite the process, you can find short high-intensity workout tutorials online. Some even fit perfectly into the optimal 15-minute time slot! You can also set your exercise session to be at the beginning or the end of the day. That way, you will not disrupt your momentum, even if you need to rest for a bit longer.
These are just a few productive ways to spend your study breaks. If you have your own preferred methods of recharging, you can stick to those instead, as long as they do not affect your studying efforts. Study breaks should always support your work, helping you get back to the grind more focused than before. Still, focus is just one piece of the puzzle. You need to understand the content as well. It is normal to struggle with the more complex physics concepts, and it is best to seek help for them as soon as possible. Feel free to engage a reputable secondary school or JC physics tuition centre, so that you stay ahead of the curve in your exams.