Whether you’re in university or working full-time, the stress of preparing for the holidays on top of, well, life can be excruciating. I’m guilty of either overworking myself or not being productive enough with no middle ground. However, it’s been proven that the best way to be productive is to work for 20-30 minutes and then take a short break to let the information “stew” before going back to work.

Here are my five favorite ways to take a ten minute break that aren’t checking social media (seriously, don’t do it):

  • Clean. Tidy your work space, clean your room or start a load of laundry.
  • Walk or other wise exercise. Get some oxygen flowing back to your brain!
  • Eat. Have a nutritious snack (my favorites are granola bars and oranges) and a cup of tea or tall glass of water.
  • Check e-mail. Take this time to rely to time-sensitive academic e-mails and unsubscribe to junk e-mails.
  • Chat. Complain to your roommates about your course, send a message to your parents or tell a friend you’re thinking about them during this stressful time… but don’t get caught up in the conversation.

Bonus: if you have a pet, spend time with them. Oh, how I miss my dog, his goofy face and how he surrenders his belly for scratches which is probably just as good for me as it is for him. If you don’t have a pet, a lot of university have therapy dog sessions around exam time.

Finally, my best tip working is start early and take breaks often! You can check out more university exam tips here.

Good luck!

Photo by: J. Kelly Brito.