With midterm season around the corner, it’s time to start re-evaluating your study habits, eliminating distractions, and buckling down for the rest of the semester ahead. Although incorporating breaks into your study sessions to avoid burnout is a smart thing to do, you want to make sure your study breaks are productive. Study breaks should motivate you to get back to studying instead of distracting you for hours. Here are some of the best ways you can take breaks.

Do Something You’ve Been Putting Off

Personally, whenever I have an exam coming up, I use “studying” as an excuse to let my room stay messy. Something I’ve recently started doing is setting a 10 minute timer to tidy my room as a study break. This works for me because the 10 minute time limit makes me rush myself to get more cleaning done, and 10 minutes does not feel like a long time to commit to cleaning. When I’m done cleaning, I feel like I have accomplished something productive, and I am motivated to start studying again. Maybe cleaning isn’t something you put off, but use your 10 minute study breaks to accomplish something that you have swept to the side with the outlook that it will take too long to do. 


Our bodies were not meant to sit at a desk for hours at a time studying for an exam, so use your study breaks to stretch or go for a walk. Doing so can prevent future body pain from sitting in the same position for hours. Stretching relieves tension in your body and some fresh air can wake you up and refresh your mind.

Try Not to Go On Social Media

A 5 minute break to check social media can turn into 3 hours quite easily. For me, it’s best if I avoid social media altogether during my study sessions. I give myself a few minutes to break and check my text messages and calls, but I save surfing social media until after I’m done studying. 

Reward Yourself

Midterm season is hard. You might have to say “no” to hanging out with your friends or watching your favourite TV show a few times in order to stay on top of your studying. But, if you work hard, reward yourself! How I get through midterm season is by planning to hangout with friends days in advance, and working extra hard the days leading up to my plans. If I have a new episode of my favourite show to watch, I can study all day, and then watch the episode as a way to relax before bed. You shouldn’t feel guilty for making time for the things you love, as long as you have some sort of balance

Those are my top 3 ways to make your study breaks feel productive and rewarding. These types of breaks have been a huge factor in keeping my motivation throughout midterm season, so I hope they can help you in some way too!

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