Just like everyone else nowadays, most of the time, HSC students are under exam stress as they have to study long hours to prepare for their exams. Mostly their study tools are electronic gadgets. When studying, they are on the computer, and when they take a break, they use either their phones or watch TV.
So in all of these kinds of activities, the body is less involved and the brain is heavily churning all its energy. That’s why mentally, they start to feel more tired and it creates an imbalance between the body and the mind.
In the early days before computers, studying used not just the brain but the body as well. For example, picking up a book and reading involves sitting in different postures including walking and when you write, you are using your hand and you sit in another posture.
Nowadays, everything is on a computer so you sit in one position and do all those activities that have created more brain work, which has disturbed the body-mind balance; especially when you are sitting in that position for a longer time and your brain is fully hooked up in these learning activities.
You can also refer to your brain as being “hijacked” as you are unaware of your body’s natural tiredness.
Eventually, your brain gets disconnected from your body, forgetting that the brain also needs energy, like the oxygen in its blood supply which is given by the body. So that’s why it’s recommended that study sessions should be broken into 30 to 40 minutes segments, a maximum of an hour session followed by a break.
But in most cases when thinking of a break, one might think of playing a game or watching TV, only to realise those activities still use the brain and might instead be using more brain energy.
Students should ideally do something with extensive body use and minimum brain activity in order for the body becomes active again and uses more oxygen to make the brain active again to do another study session.
We call them ‘Booting Breaks’ that boost your brain again and make it less tired, more energetic and active. These breaks should be in between 5-15 minutes.
Let’s explore what kind of boosting breaks students can do. The first thing is to give a list of some options, mainly which you can do at home depending on your surrounding environment and the facilities around you. Some require more resources and some don’t need much to simply start off with.
Indoor Boosting Breaks
The first list is about indoor activities, which don’t require many resources besides you. Some simple cardio exercises, like star jumps, commando jumps, simple push-ups or shadow boxing. Within two or three minutes, you will be breathless, which means you want more oxygen in your body, which means you need more breaths, to have that extra oxygen.
Skipping is another excellent exercise that will give you the same outcome but it needs a little bit of practice. If you have Wii Fit, it has games which can be more entertaining, but it is not as accessible to everyone.
Table tennis is another good indoor game that may go a bit longer and requires another person, maybe a sibling, parent, or friend. You can invent your own game as well and within five minutes you will be laughing as warmth travels throughout your body.
In these activities, your brain will align with what your body is doing. It’s not easy for your mind to be wandering around while you’re jumping up and down wanting the rest for your brain and body to be energised and refreshed.
Just in case you are unable to do cardio physical activities, you can do simple body stretches. Salat will also help you to practise having that self-focus. House chores may also count as a break to your mind helping your family out and keeping your environment clean, essential in keeping a positive mindset that is appealing to the eyes.
Outdoor Boosting Breaks
The simplest form of outdoor activity that will allow you to relax is going for a walk or jogging. But in that walk, you must be more engaged with your surroundings than with the psychological drama you have going on in your head or your phone ready for you to start watching something.
Outdoor volleyball or any kind of sport is recommended to do with siblings or a mate that may not fit within two or three minutes but it really is worth that good time.
There is one word of caution: You must be aware of the time while you are in that boosting break. Don’t stretch these breaks to the point where you begin to take up your time to study.
What do you think you can start doing as a Boosting Break?