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Intentional Study Breaks

Examples of intentional study breaks outlined in article

Do you ever find it hard to get back to work after taking a break? When we feel tired or stuck during work, we often take unplanned breaks – checking our phones, and scrolling through social media. These types of breaks are difficult to come back from. Motivation may be low if we’re tired, and activities like checking social media have no clear stopping point, so it’s easy to lose track of time. Instead, take pre-planned study breaks for specific durations. For example, work for 30 minutes, then take a 5-minute break, followed by another 30-minute work session. Or work for 90 minutes, then take a 30-minute break, and repeat. Plan activities for each break that fit its duration, like eating an apple in five minutes. Remember to stay active during breaks and avoid screen time. Think of activities that will rejuvenate you. It could be something quiet and meditative, like coloring in an adult coloring book, writing in a journal, or listening to music. Or it could be something more active like cleaning your desk or going for a walk or a run. Check out the examples below and create your own go-to list of intentional study breaks.

  • Stretch
  • Make a to-do list
  • Eat a healthy snack
  • Meditate
  • Dance in your room
  • Make a hot beverage
  • Draw, doodle, or color
  • Daydream
  • Clean your desk
  • Listen to music
  • Flip through a magazine
  • Write in a journal
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Eat lunch
  • Take a shower
  • Do a workout
  • Read for fun
  • Cook dinner
  • Call a friend

Written by Julianne Reynolds, Associate Director and Learning Specialist for International Students, Weingarten Center

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