As students juggling various responsibilities, we all struggle with avoidance and staving off burnout. While breaks are necessary to keep our minds fresh and prime for learning taking extended breaks is often not possible, but we can improve the quality of our breaks. Here are some tips to get the most out of breaks.
- Schedule your breaks.
If you find your five minute breaks turning into an hour-long digression try using a timer and experiment with the length of time that works best for you. One method for timed tasks and breaks to consider is the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro
- Be mindful during your breaks.
Think about how you’re spending your break time. Are you mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed? Do you do work for other projects or responsibilities during your break? This might be why you don’t feel like you’ve actually had a break when you return to work or continue to put off beginning your task again. Make a conscious effort to be present during your break. A good way to get in this habit is to begin each break with a few deep breathes to recenter yourself.
- Consider having rituals for daily breaks
Taking mindful breaks should be a routine part of your day, even if it is just taking a minute to close your eyes and do some breathing exercises. Having set times or activities that you look forward to every day is a small free way to prevent burn out. I enjoy reading the poem of the day from the Poetry Foundation in the morning and the New York Times mini crossword in the evening.
- Move around
Sitting still for too long is not only unhealthy for you physically but also can zip your ability to retain attention. Try to move every 30 minutes.
This version of this article originally appeared in the Foothill College Honors Society Newsletter as well as on carefreecourtney.com