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6 ways to spend a revision break

By hannahk 01 May 2024

With exam season around the corner, it might feel tempting to try and spend as much time as possible with your head in a book.

Revising and studying without breaks can actually be counterproductive. Be sure to schedule blocks or chunks of study time each day to allow you to have spare time for a break. You might have heard the phrase ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ which means you can’t give something your best if you don’t look after yourself. Revision breaks give you a chance to rest, relax, do something you enjoy, socialise and feel ready for your next revision session.

It’s all about finding a good balance between rest and studying during exam season. Don’t worry, finding this balance can take some practice but here’s our suggestions if you’re looking for some helpful ways to spend a couple of hours between the library…

Treat yourself!

Grab a cup of your favourite coffee, enjoy a hot chocolate or help yourself to your favourite sweet treat. A small reward can go a long way even if it’s reading your book for 30 minutes, watching tv or your favourite series. For example, try a half hour break after an hour's session and reward yourself for your hard work – you deserve it!

Looking for a new local café? Here's some recommendations of local coffee shops near to your hall!

Get some fresh air…but wrap up!

Getting out and about, even if it’s for a short walk, will help clear your mind and help you have a fresh mindset when you next sit down to study. We know it's chilly out there so be sure to wrap up!

If you've got lots of deadlines it can be tempting to stay indoors all day to get as much done as possible but staying inside all day can actually make us less productive and more tired. A bit of fresh air will clear the cobwebs and help you feel more awake. 

Get moving

Exercise is proven to reduce stress hormones and increase endorphins which improve your mood. This doesn’t mean you need to run 5k or achieve something super impressive. Going for a walk around campus will give you the same result. Check out some free activities you can get stuck into with Sport Liverpool here.

Fuel up

Eating well at a time that is super busy can be difficult. Drinking lots of water and eating well should be a priority as it will help you feel energised and able to concentrate. If you’ve got a free hour between studying, think about batching cooking a dish for your evening meal and lunch the next day. It’ll give you one less thing to think about later on! Check out quick and easy recipes for snacks on the go and healthy, hearty meals for you to try.

Catch some zzz’s

It’s thought that just 20 minutes of shut eye will help increase productivity and alertness throughout the afternoon. Next time you’re feeling that post-lunch lull, consider taking 30 minutes to grab some rest to help you feel ready to go for the afternoon and evening. Need help relaxing? Try the 4-7-8 breathing method below!

The amount of sleep we need differs between each person but usually around 7-8 hours sleep is a good amount to aim for. If you’re struggling to sleep at night because of noise issues, don’t forget you can reach out to your Residential Adviser for support.

Focus on the positives

It can be tricky to think about the positives if you’re feel stressed or worried but it’s important to give yourself credit for all of your hard work so far and the achievements you’ve made already, whether that’s writing a new essay plan or reading a new article. Thinking of 3 positive things that happened to you each day will help you focus on what’s going well and can really help motivate you for the next day.

Even if you feel like you should be dedicating every hour to your assessments, taking breaks will make you a whole lot more energised. 3 hours of studying with an hour's break is going to be much more productive than 3 hours of studying with no break. Take small regular intervals or one large break, whatever suits you best!

Need support?

  • Residential Advisers - don't be afraid to reach out to your RA if you're needing that extra bit of support. RAs are there to look after you while in Halls and can help with challenges you might be facing at uni. There's also an out of hours contact number to reach an RA if you have any issues during the night. Contact details of your RA, Warden and the duty RA phone can be found in your handbook, on posters in your kitchens or at reception.
  • University Support Services - from the Wellbeing Advice and Guidance team to the Mental Health Advisory service, the University's support services are here to help. Book an appointment here.
  • Self-help guides - the University have lots of different self-help guides if you need some tips to help improve how you're feeling. Click here to read more.
  • Health Assured confidential helpline - available 24/7, Health Assured is an advice line which offers free support to university students. Call 0800 028 3766 or download the My Healthy Advantage App for support, videos and advice. You can enter the code ‘Wellbeing’ and the password is MHA187679.
  • Student Minds - Student Minds also has lots of helpful blogs and resources aimed at university students. Check out their preparing for second term articles here.

There’s lots of support available to you should you ever need it. Click here to find out more!