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Why it's really important to take regular breaks at university

In today’s world, people are spending an increasing amount of time sitting in front of a screen.

Computers have become an essential part of our every day our lives—used for work, socialising, and relaxation. It's important to remember that there is a world beyond the screen. When faced with a deadline, it is easy to sit working for hours and never take a break. Deliberately taking time away from the screen is important as it helps to re-engage the brain.

Listed below are five quick and easy things to do when taking a break:

1. Have a snack
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Smoothie Prep with @thevegansix

A post shared by Healthy Recipes + Snacks (@nutrition_planet) on

When you’re working on assignments, it’s important to ensure that you’re eating properly and staying hydrated. Both of these things will help to keep your brain engaged and this should help with your workflow. Make time for regular meals and have healthy snacks to nibble on in between. Have a glass of water on your desk and take sips at intervals. It may be good to eat your snacks away from your laptop or desk as this could give you a five-minute break from your work.

2. Exercise

Not everyone enjoys intense gym sessions, but there are other ways to get moving. Try going for a run, even if it only takes up ten minutes. If you don’t enjoy running, a fresh walk can help you to feel energised. However, you don’t even have to leave your room if it’s raining outside or you simply just don't want to go out. Youtube has a vast selection of workouts or yoga sessions that you can do without needing to go anywhere. Although this may involve looking at a screen, if you do a workout regularly you will eventually be able to remember the routines.

3. Hobbies

Hobbies can be a good way to spend a break—providing they don’t take up too much time. Taking part in a sport, listening to music, reading and cooking are some examples that can provide light relief and don’t have to take too long. It’s up to you what you might choose to do, but any time spent away from the screen is beneficial.

4. Practical jobs

There are always practical tasks to complete, whether you like doing them or not. Washing clothes, washing up, cleaning, and cooking are all necessary at some point or another. You might just decide to pick the clothes off your floor or put something in the microwave, but these small things will still take you away from the screen.

5. Socialise

Talking to a housemate, seeing friends, going to a social event. Socialising, however you choose to do it, is part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle. If deadlines are close, you may only want to arrange something for an hour. If you have more time, then maybe taking an evening off would be worth it. It is easy to feel isolated when deadlines are approaching, so make time to do something that involves human contact. 

Featured image: Marvin Meyer on Unsplash