With finals around the corner, the library would like to give the students the following reminder: Your brain isn’t meant to marathon and it never gets a break, so you have to intentionally give it one.
The brain is much more active – and more likely to tire – than any other muscle or organ in your body. You can only maintain focus for 90 to 120 minutes before it needs to rest. Honoring the natural rhythm of our brains and seeing brain breaks as part of, not counter to, working, can make a person more productive, creative, and innovative.
Here are some tips to give yourself a break:
• Take a nap – According to neuroscientist Dr. Sarah McKay in “The neurobiology of the afternoon nap,” a brief nap not only reduces sleepiness, but it also improves cognitive function and enhances short-term memory and mood.
• Get physical – Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. If you can’t get in a full workout, go for a walk, take the stairs, park farther away from your destination. If you’re at work, take five minutes and stretch, do some yoga postures, jumping jacks or push ups.
• Unplug – If only for a few minutes several times a day, silence your phone and don’t answer it. Let the computer go to sleep. Turn off the TV or music. Silence is good for your brain.
• Take a few breaths – If you don’t have time to leave your seat, take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and reset
Here’s a great article that goes further in depth on how the brain works and more tips on how to give your brain a break.