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Three easy ways to take a study break

Students learnbest after takinga short rest.

Studying non-stop is a recipe for burnout.

George Dolgikh

It’s about that time in the semester that everyone dreads — finals week. In anticipation of term papers, presentations and tests, students swarm the library armed with books and pages of messy notes or hole up in their dorm rooms, unable to move away from the stack to study all the materials they have to get through. It’s a time of stress, sleepless nights and too much coffee. The key to studying effectively, however, involves taking some breaks from quadratic equations, writing a superb thesis and memorizing every detail about the Crusades. Here are three ways to relax in between your cram sessions:

Break out the markers. You laugh, but nothing is more relaxing than coloring. Why do you think you loved it so much when you were in elementary school? So head to the bookstore and snag some markers, colored pencils or a traditional yellow box of Crayola crayons. And don’t kid yourself; you’re never too old to create a masterpiece — or at least color within the lines.

Turn to the TV. Go ahead, give in to your desire to watch an episode of your latest television series addiction. Just remember not to get sucked into the vicious Netflix cycle (watch out for the dreaded auto-start on Netflix TV shows). Be sure to shut your laptop immediately after your episode ends.

Remember to eat. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that there simply isn’t enough time to fuel up with some food (the stale Triscuits and Pepsi in your room don’t count). Remember, your brain needs nourishment. Plus, you’ll get some much-needed fresh air on the walk to the dining hall.

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