Courtesy of Tribune News Service, Mina

4 helpful tips to block study stress

If the semester has already gotten you bogged down with homework, studying and the like, perhaps it's time you give yourself a short break that will leave you refreshed and ready to dominate that paper or PowerPoint. More often than not, though, you might find yourself filling your short break with replying to text messages, surfing the internet or watching funny videos on Facebook.

Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time to relax after you've done one of these things or that you're not refreshed and ready to study again? Especially if you're already working at a computer, looking at another screen while taking a break may leave you feeling less than rested.

Instead, try these suggestions to relieve your brain cramps and prepare you to dive back into that cram session fully refreshed.

1. Move around

Not only is movement a helpful, natural deterrent for bad moods,  but it can also help your brain function better because you're using it for more than just intense thought. Exercising releases endorphins in the brain, making you feel happier, which is just what you need when you're tired and annoyed by long study sessions or mounds of homework. Take a short walk around your neighborhood, run for 30 minutes or toss around a frisbee or football with your roommates. Getting some movement in between schoolwork might just allow your brain to work better and faster when you get back to work.

2. Listen to your favorite song

Music is another easy way to break out of the study blues. Listening to your favorite song on the radio or an album on your record player can relieve the tension that your mind associates with studying.  Depending on the type of music you listen to, it can encourage you by having a more upbeat rhythm in your thought process, aiding your attention to the study material. Music can help boost your drive to get whatever you're working on done with the emotional effects it creates. So break up your studies with a jam session or, even better, combine the mood-enhancing powers of music and exercise by dancing along to your favorite songs.

3. Take a nap

While this may seem like the most counterproductive thing to do between studying, it can actually be the most beneficial kind of break. Taking a nap processes the information that you're studying while also leaving you feeling refreshed. Try to limit your naps to 15-20 minutes, which are sometimes called “power naps” because they can charge up your brain just enough to keep you going without making you feel groggy.

4. Talk to a friend

If you're like me, being by yourself hyper-focusing on notes or a project can leave you feeling mentally and emotionally drained. A great way to pick yourself up is to have a conversation with someone. Call one of your friends or hang out with your roommates for a few minutes to remind yourself that you still have a life!

Play around with different study breaks to find out what makes you feel best and allows you to study more effectively afterward. Pay attention to your brain and body and make sure that whatever you're doing is conducive to healthy life and study habits.

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