As our plates begin overflowing with a ton of projects, most of us begin itching for a well-deserved winter reading break.

With our anxiety rising, we wonder, can life get anymore stressful? As important as time management is, there’s a rather simple strategy with powerful results: take a break.

Working hard and balancing assignments, social obligations, and exams are all part of a successful student life, but breaks are important. Let’s explore the benefits of having a break for students:

1. Nap your way to a better memory

A great way to boost your health is to simply take a short nap. Typically, 20 minutes is considered the ideal amount of time for a power nap. It rejuvenates your brain cells so that new information is readily processed and stored. How does that work? Naps help to effectively reorganize thoughts for better memory. By napping, you’re enabling your brain to take a break from incoming information and process everything already inside of it, so that when you are awake that information is easily accessible. Check out some tips on how to get better sleep and take better power naps.

dog and bird sleeping on top of dog house.

2. Control your stress

Our brain is often in overdrive. A little bit of stress is normal but it can be detrimental to your health without a little TLC. Take a page out of a Harvard study and meditate for 27 minutes a day. If meditation isn’t your thing, researchers at Cambridge have shown exercise, running in particular, helps reduce stress and grow thousands of brain cells. Take a look at some stress reduction tips from other Humber and Guelph-Humber students or some de-stressing websites to get your juices flowing!

girl meditating with plants in living room

3. Increases your happiness

Sometimes working hard can be emotionally draining and exhausting, to the point of burning out. To avoid this, take some YOU time and indulge in a relaxing activity every once in a while. Walking, exercising, meditating or anything that makes you happy is a good idea. In the end, these short recesses will provide a healthy distraction, making you feel less stressed and ready to take on the day.

Reading week is a great opportunity to distance yourself from daily routine and engage in new activities to help refresh your mind!

Two adults dancing in track suits.

4. Boost your productivity

We tend to slowly lose focus when we work on the same thing for a long period of time, resulting in poor performance. In terms of our academic studies, studying for long periods of time without stopping to relax can be less productive. Take a break every once in a while. Individuals who take at least two breaks are far more focused and enthusiastic about their work. And wouldn’t you rather study better faster?

Girl being very productive.

We hope everyone enjoys their winter reading break! If you are a Guelph-Humber student, don’t forget to have your say about whether or not you want to have a Fall Reading Break.