Tips to help you break up study sessions

by Alex Feldman

September 16, 2020

The month of September is seen by many people around the world as a month of fresh starts – children return to school after the summer break and colleges and universities reopen for a new semester. Considering this, you might be returning to school yourself to take courses to further your own personal development. However, studying for exams can be difficult, especially if you have spent several years away from an educational environment, and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of new knowledge you have to take in. Scientific research shows that people study more effectively by taking regular short breaks rather than embarking on long study sessions. To help you out, here are some tips to break up study sessions and get the most out of your learning. 

Do some exercise

A day of studying often involves hours sat down hunched over the computer screen or making notes from a textbook, and as such you will probably spend most of the day sitting in the same position. Taking short breaks involving some kind of physical exercise will help to keep you both physically and mentally refreshed, and indeed can help you fit more study in. You could try some stretching exercises specifically designed for the office, which will help to stretch out tense muscles that are used to being hunched over the computer. Or, if you want a change of scenery and some fresh air, you could go for a short walk in the neighborhood around your home or office. 

Play a short game 

You might reach a point with your studying, especially if you have been at it for a few hours, when you feel that you are not taking in any more information. In this case, it is a good idea to leave your studying and take a short mental break. To take your mind off your studying, you could watch a short YouTube video or listen to some music. Or, if you feel that your mind needs to be focused momentarily on something else, you could play an online game. For instance, focusing on playing a game of online bingo, such as the ones found on, takes your mind completely away from your work, leaving you refreshed when you return to your textbooks.

Rehydrate and refuel You might be tempted to squeeze as much study time out of the day as possible by forgoing basic self-care activities such as eating, especially if you are studying for an upcoming exam. However, this practice can soon become counter-productive and negatively impact your physical and mental health in the long run. Make sure you take the time to rehydrate and prepare a healthy and nutritious meal to keep you fuelled for learning. Choose recipes that use ingredients that have brain-boosting properties, such as eggs, oily fish like tuna and salmon, and blueberries. A tuna sandwich with a side of blueberries and water makes the ideal lunch to fuel a successful afternoon of studying.