Recharge and reset:

Making the most of your reading break
Kaya Panthier – Argosy Illustrations Editor

The reading break is a much-anticipated pause in the academic calendar — when the rapid pace of lectures, assignments, and exams briefly slows down. However, it is easy to let this precious time slip away without getting the rest or accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves. So, how can you make the most of your reading break?

Make sure to rest:

Firstly, acknowledge that rest is productive. It is the period where your brain consolidates

information and your body recuperates. Instead of filling every moment with activities, allow yourself some guilt-free downtime. Sleep without setting an alarm, spend an afternoon with a non-academic book, or do nothing. These moments of stillness can be surprisingly refreshing.

While it is tempting to either binge-study or completely abandon all thoughts of school, balance is critical. Dedicate a portion of your day to review notes or get ahead on reading, then switch off academically. By setting clear boundaries, you can enjoy leisure activities without the nagging feeling that you should study instead.

Get physical and get outside:

Physical activity is a powerful way to clear your mind. Find ways to move your body through a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a dance class. Exercise releases endorphins, often called “feel-good hormones,” which can elevate mood and energy levels. If you can, spend time outdoors. Nature has a calming effect on the mind and can help reduce stress. Even short periods of time in green spaces can lower blood pressure and enhance mental clarity.

Catch up on old activities and habits:

Have you been neglecting a hobby because of a packed schedule? Now is the time to re-engage with activities that bring you joy. Creative pursuits can be incredibly satisfying and a great mental break, whether painting, playing an instrument, or crafting. Take some time to cook nutritious meals that you may not be able to during busy school weeks. Good nutrition supports brain function and energy levels, crucial for a productive return to classes.

Prepare, reflect, appreciate:

Towards the end of the break, take some time to plan for the upcoming weeks. Organizing your study schedule, setting goals, and preparing materials make the transition back to school smoother and less stressful. You could also use this time to reflect on your achievements and the goals you still want to reach. Recognize the hard work you have put in and affirm your progress. Gratitude can shift your perspective, improve your mood, and motivate you for the future. Remember, the reading break is a personal retreat from the demands of school. It is a time to recharge your batteries and reset your focus. By balancing rest with productive activities and planning for the future, you can return to your studies feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

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