How to Take Study Breaks for Optimal Learning: 7 Useful Tips

How and when to take study breaks for optimal learning How to

It is usually believed that if in the process of learning a foreign language a student forgot something – it’s bad, distracted – bad, took a break – also bad, and if he fell asleep – even a nightmare. None of this is true. All these study breaks are not just not a hindrance to remembering material and processing information, but on the contrary – a help. They allow the brain to settle, to assimilate new rules, words or phrases.

How and when to take study breaks for optimal learning

Why you should rest while studying

Think of your brain as a muscle. Those who have been in the gym for a long time know how important measure is: of course, you have to do squats and push-ups through the roof, but if you overdo it, you can get a sports injury instead of a pile of muscles and walk for another month not only with a flabby stomach, but also with a bandaged knee, for example.

It’s the same with the brain. If you make it do 200 squats at once, it just refuses to work further. No matter how many cans of energy drink or coffee you drink, and how much willpower you show, you can’t fool the body. The main thing  is to accurately set priorities for yourself and define what your goal is: to fit the image of a sleepless night martyr, or fulfill academic or work plans?

If the second, then try to take a break for a couple of minutes every half hour, 5-10 minutes every hour, or half an hour every two hours, depending on the characteristics of your pace of work (everyone can choose for themselves a convenient pattern of breaks, as long as they are regular). Get away from your desk, you can even just walk around the apartment, feed the cat or put things in the closet. The main thing is to break away from studying and give your brain a break.

Why you should rest while studying

Take study breaks in the learning process and don’t be afraid to make mistakes

The best thing we can do if we need to learn something urgently right before tomorrow is to read right now and go to bed quickly. The main work of the brain happens while we sleep.

It takes time and certain chemical processes to get information into our long-term memory, which happens just as we sleep.

The constant stress of failing to do something, failing to do something, failing again, failing to do something – this is the worst thing you can do to yourself.

You shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. To make learning easier, you have to realize that learning is always going on, not just at the desk. If a person just sits at a desk and pretends to learn, nothing useful will come of it.

Take breaks in the learning process and don't be afraid to make mistakes

How to take study breaks properly – TOP-7 Useful Tips

Tip 1: Make a schedule for yourself

The length of the break depends on how long you’ve been working. Pomodoro 5-minute breaks work well with every 25 minutes of study.After two hours of intense language practice, take a 20-30 minute break. It’ll be okay.

The pomodoro technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, uses a kitchen timer to break up work into intervals, usually 25 minutes each, separated by short breaks.

Set a timer for your break on your phone or watch, and after the beep, practice. A strict schedule will prevent a 10-minute study break from turning into an hour of procrastination.

Set a time limit for your study break. This will help you study and strengthen your resolve to put off origami or other useless things for studying until the break.

Tip 1 make a schedule for yourself

Tip 2: Workout

The benefits of physical activity include mental and physical renewal as well as increased concentration. You can oxygenate your brain in as little as 5 to 10 minutes of exercise (such as walking or doing push-ups). Exercise improves both physical and cognitive health. In addition, you begin to remember information and concentrate better.

Tip 2 workout as rest for learning

Tip 3: Eat something

During study breaks, fruits, nuts, lean proteins, and slow-release carbohydrates strengthen the brain. This list does not include processed junk food, chips or sugary drinks.

After the sugar spike caused by eating unhealthy foods, there is a decline caused by insulin synthesis. As a result, your head becomes like a cannonball and you begin to doze off. Avoid these situations and eat only healthy foods.

Tip 3 eat something

Tip 4: Read an interesting book

If you are studying by reading, it may not feel like a break. The goal is to read something enjoyable and not work-related.

It could be a work of fiction, a comic book, or an article in a game magazine. Nonfiction is fine, but fiction or comedies will get your brain into a more creative, imaginative state. If you’re reading a gripping novel to complete a study break, set the timer to “disgustingly loud.” 🙂

Tip 4 read an interesting book

Tip 5: Take short breaks to nap

Sleep can help your recovery if you follow certain guidelines. Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison took naps between pressing duties. They learned many valuable lessons in between naps, but most importantly, they rested.

The secret to good sleep is knowing yourself. Some people are sleep professionals. They can close their eyes, doze off, and wake up five minutes later feeling renewed.

Others sleep and feel exhausted and uncomfortable upon awakening. If this is the case, you may not like this type of study break.

Set a timer for 20 minutes to keep your nap short. This should be enough time to fall into a light but not deep slumber, from which you may wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a car. A long nap may disrupt your ability to sleep at night, but a short nap may not.

Tip 5 take short breaks to nap

Tip 6: Talk on the phone during your break

It’s a great chance to talk to friends and recuperate. Don’t call a friend whose life is a tragedy.

This approach doesn’t work for you unless you can say, “Thank you, that was interesting, but I have to go”.Otherwise, calling a buddy might be helpful.

Tip 6 talk on the phone during your break

Tip 7: Check your SMS messages or group-chats

This is the place to talk about how modern people demand confirmation from mobile gadgets, but no. Check your text messages to confirm that the world still exists.

Text messaging is an exercise in caution. Several caveats apply here. It should only be done if, for example, you are planning something urgent (like saying happy birthday to your mother or robbing the local merchant’s stall ha-ha).

Be careful with this type of vacation. Sometimes you can’t control the time while chatting with your girlfriend/boyfriend or friends.

Check your sms messages in group chats

What to avoid during study breaks

  1. Avoid long hours on social media. As mentioned earlier, we often can’t control the time we spend watching memes or reading news feeds.
  2. Avoid television and streaming. An interesting program or stream can get you too enticed, which turns out to be hours in front of a screen rather than effective learning.
  3. Avoid long naps. After a long nap, we need to come to our senses. This takes a long time. Instead of a long nap, it is better to take a nap for 25-30 minutes with an alarm clock.
  4. Avoid unhealthy foods. Unhealthy foods can decrease your cognitive abilities, which will generally affect your learning performance.
What to avoid during study break

Language learning apps help to take a study break in time

As you have already understood, language learning should be gradual and periodic. 

Modern language learning apps themselves help you take a break in time. Language courses in such applications are usually divided into small sections, which allows you to find a balance between study and rest. If you’ve learned a small topic, you can take a break.

If you learn words with the help of flashcards, then you have to select the sets of words that you want to work on by yourself.

Langavia Personal Dictionary is designed so that the entire daily cycle of practice takes no more than half an hour. During this time you can learn 5 completely new words and reinforce the words you started learning the previous days. 

After half an hour of such work on your vocabulary, you can easily take a break and then switch to other language learning activities.

What to do during pauses in learning – Case studies for study breaks

What to do during pauses in studying

Perhaps everyone knows the right way to learn foreign languages: attend classes, work through textbooks, read the terms of assignments carefully and do them.

But what about effective recreation? Is it right to lie down on the couch or bury yourself in the phone in your spare time?

If you realize you haven’t taken a break from studying for hours.
Grab a snack to refuel, watch a YouTube video to relax your brain. Then go back to your student books or language learning service.
If you’re feeling stressed.
Take deep breaths, text your friends, you can just stare out the window for a few minutes and then gently pick yourself up.
If you can’t focus.
You need activity! Go outside, take out the trash, walk the dog. Just move around, get some fresh air. That will help.
If something is going on and you can’t stop thinking about it.
Write down what’s going on, like writing in a personal journal. This will help you cope and distract yourself.
If you’re just mentally and physically exhausted.
Set a timer for 25-30 minutes and take a nap. But no longer than that, or you’ll enter a REM (rapid eye movement sleep or, in other words, a quick nap) sleep phase and wake up even more tired. As soon as you wake up, drink something with caffeine.
If the material is boring as hell.
Figure out another way to learn. See if there’s a series of youtube videos about the topic, or draw what you’re learning in diagrams and pictures to make it more interesting.
If you understand the topic only halfway.
Call/text a friend who was not in class, try to explain the material to him/her yourself. This will help you go over the topic in your mind and memorize it better.
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Langavia Team

We help people to learn new languages and expand their vocabulary effectively.

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If you realize you haven’t taken a break from studying for hours.
Grab a snack to refuel, watch a YouTube video to relax your brain. Then go back to your student books or language learning service.
If you’re feeling stressed.
Take deep breaths, text your friends, you can just stare out the window for a few minutes and then gently pick yourself up.
If you can’t focus.
You need activity! Go outside, take out the trash, walk the dog. Just move around, get some fresh air. That will help.
If something is going on and you can’t stop thinking about it.
Write down what’s going on, like writing in a personal journal. This will help you cope and distract yourself.
If you’re just mentally and physically exhausted.
Set a timer for 25-30 minutes and take a nap. But no longer than that, or you’ll enter a REM (rapid eye movement sleep or, in other words, a quick nap) sleep phase and wake up even more tired. As soon as you wake up, drink something with caffeine.
If the material is boring as hell.
Figure out another way to learn. See if there’s a series of youtube videos about the topic, or draw what you’re learning in diagrams and pictures to make it more interesting.
If you understand the topic only halfway.
Call/text a friend who was not in class, try to explain the material to him/her yourself. This will help you go over the topic in your mind and memorize it better.