“Our nature is not self-sufficient for engaging in study: our body must be healthy and we must have food and generally be cared for” (Nicomachean Ethics X 1178b 35).
It is that time of year again, time for 20 hour workdays, paper-writing stupors, and general stress all around. May I take this moment to implore you to please please please take some breaks? It is good for you, it will make you feel better, and it will even help you do a better job on your papers. Here are some fun ideas for short study breaks:
1) Grab a friend and go get a croissant and a cup of coffee at Bonjour Bakery, the Medici Bakery, Z and H, or some other bakery you like. Talk about things other than your papers. After 30 minutes, you will start to feel like a normal human being again.
2) Go for a walk. I saw some hyacinths coming up as I walked to campus this morning! Give yourself twenty minutes and explore your neighborhood. Walk down a street you’ve never been down before. Head out to the lake and see if all the crazy ice has melted. Just use your common sense and don’t go anywhere dangerous. It’s also best to bring a buddy late at night. (I am your mother.)
3) Cook yourself something. No, really. Cooking is creative, relaxing, and at the end you get to eat a healthful, home-cooked meal. Visit williams-sonoma.com, epicurious.com, cooksillustrated.com or any similar site for recipe ideas.
4) Exercise. Hit the gym, take a yoga class, go for a jog outside. Even a 15 minute jog in the fresh air can be revitalizing.
5) It may seem counterintuitive, but have a book on hand that you can read for pleasure. Sometimes, when you get into the study groove, it is difficult to take breaks that are completely non-academic. Taking a few minutes to read a chapter of an old favorite can be a welcome distraction. Books you enjoyed as a child or a young adult can be particularly good choices.
Good luck with everything! It’s just a few more days now! You can do it!