Pomodoro breaks

black analogue clock sitting on a desk next to a laptop

I love those 'Study with Me' pomodoro YouTube videos as much as the next person, but I never know what do when my five minute break starts!

I could always just sit in my chair and wait for the break to finish but it's never satisfying enough. I get lethargic and eventually decide to take an "extended break" that never ends and before I know it, my study day has vanished before my eyes.

In my trial and error of finding my ideal short-and-sweet study breaks, I've discovered my go-to's that make my breaks a refreshing enough five or ten minutes for me to quickly get back into the grind.

Leave the study space: We have a study space to study, so it's only fair to have a relaxing space to relax! Our brains associate different locations with different activities, so if we relax in our 'study' space, we might not feel relaxed at all. If we're deliberate in changing our environment that's separate from where our brain is switched on, it can switch off for a quick snooze.

Make a snack: My hands get restless while watching lectures and it can be really distracting. I like to make myself some guilt-free snacks for my next study block, like trail mix or get some crackers with cheese, so my hands can instinctively reach for something when they start to get antsy. Also, there's no way I can concentrate while my stomach offendedly gurgles and grumbles at me for not keeping it happy.

Grab a drink: Making myself an iced matcha to enjoy while restarting is the thing I look foward to most. It's important we reward ourselves with things we enjoy while we study-- positive reinforcement of our efforts is what keeps us going back and doing it all again! Don't forget to have a glass of water every now and again, too!

Get in the sun: Vitamin D is great for letting us feel awake and alert. Just ten minutes in the sun can give that extra boost of energy for the rest of the study block. It's a good moment to mentally check in with and reassure that all that hard work will certainly be paid off in the end.

Quick workout: My legs love to fall asleep when they're not moving and give me all the pins and needles the world has to offer. I like to use my breaks to do some star jumps and squats to get the blood flowing again. Doing shoulder and wrist exercises also helps to combat muscle fatigue while I'm punching out that one essay for hours on end, but chasing my dog around the house is also a good use of my time I'd say.

Quick self-care: Sometimes I'm so focused on starting my study that I forget to do my basic morning routine tasks, like brush my hair and teeth or my daily skincare. This is one of my first choices because it leaves me feeling fresh and ready to tackle my next study block.

I try to shake up what I do with every quick rest I take. I find that it breaks the monotony of study and keeps my mind attentive for longer. I get more done in my day when I give myself some wiggle room in-between instead of forcing myself to stay glued to my desk for five hours straight. If study seems to be harder than usual on certain days, I'll shorten my time blocks to be kinder to myself. My body is the one that knows what it needs most, after all. There's nothing worse than forcing yourself to work hard when your body feels like its hardly working.

Tagged in What messes with your head, study