1. Turn it off:
I’m not kidding. You know it needs to be done, so just do it. Turn off the phone. Deactivate your Facebook. Delete all your social media apps. Whatever you have to do to stop wasting time with that nonsense, do it now.
Take some time to talk to actual human beings. Spending time with people gives us an energy boost (yes, introverts, that goes for you too). So call your mom (you know you need to) or strike up a convo with whoever is in line with you at Starbucks. Talk to someone. Texting doesn’t count.
After about two hours of hard studying, your brain starts to crap out on you. It’s best to take 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so. Stretch. Refresh. Breathe. Your mind won’t burn out quite as quickly this way. Many people vouch for the pomodoro technique, which you can try here.
4. Go outside:
You can’t stay inside all day and expect to remain sane. Some fresh air will help reduce your stress by some amount almost immediately.
5. Nourish your body:
No one reaches for a bag of Doritos and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s faster than I do, especially when I’m stressed, but this is the last thing your body needs. You have to nourish those brain cells, especially if you’re sleeping less than usual. Buy some fruits and veggies, take some time to cook wholesome meals, and drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you.
6. Find your space:
There is a reason people go to the library; it’s a breeding ground for good study habits. If the library isn’t your thing, that’s cool. Try dedicating a space to studying and stick with it. Avoid your bed or the couch, those places are associated with relaxation and are counterproductive to your studying attempts.
Exercise reduces stress. We all know this, yet we rarely put this knowledge to good use. I know you think you don’t have time, but I promise if you take 20 minutes to run or bike or jazzercise, your brain will function at a higher level and you’ll be far more efficient as you work.
All the caffeine in the world can’t replace a good night’s sleep, so do your best to get some shuteye. I know this isn’t always plausible (I was a Nursing major in college…) and all-nighters are sometimes inevitable. If you must stay up all night, find some time to nap. Check out this guide for an optimal napping experience based on your needs.