The sole focus of many of you during this time period is bar exam preparation. You may wake up in the morning at 8 or 9am and have the entire day, over 14 hours of time, to prepare for the bar! That is a ridiculous amount of time and much more than you’ll ever need. What will get you ready for the bar is not so much the time you have, but what you are doing with the time you use. During your bar exam preparation, taking breaks will be just as important as studying.
Study breaks are VERY GOOD for you because 1) you have the time to do it, and 2) they will keep your fresh, energized, and efficient. Here are 15 ways you can take a 15 minute break to reenergize your body, mind, and spirit.
(1) Walk/Jog in the park
Even taking a short, 15 minute walk may be the best thing you do all day. Not only will taking a break clear up your mind, but walking allows you to keep the blood flowing. Also, being in the park changes your surroundings, giving you new, fresh energy. And being in nature will connect you with your natural environment. Studies show nature walking can make you more successful than city walking.
(2) Walk your dog
Taking your pet out for a nice walk or run will keep the blood flowing, give you fresh energy, change up the scene, and provide some companionship and connection.
(3) Read your favorite book
What?! More reading? Yes! Dive into your favorite fantasy novel, war story, or brain book. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel tired or drained when I did additional, outside reading. Rather, it was a great way for me to disconnect from the bar, keep my mind in the ‘reading’ zone, and learn something new. Curling up with your favorite book for 15 minutes to end each night is a great de-stresser.
(4) Play video games
Without a doubt, this was one of my most utilized and best study breaks! It was easy, games were short, and I didn’t even have to get up from the library or wherever I was studying. It’s also very fun, makes you happy, and allows for a complete disconnect – all the things you need to do on a break before you hit the studying again! In case you’re wondering, my game of choice was Command & Conquer: Zero Hour for PC.
Enter ‘funny videos’ on youtube and you’ll be off to a great, entertaining, and fun break from your studies. Keeping yourself laughing and smiling is one of the best things you can do.
Need a quick de-stress? Drop down and give yourself 20 push-ups. If you feel embarrased, do it in the corner of the room or next to your desk so people don’t see you. This is a great way to get the blood flowing in the brain again.
Finding a nice quiet park bench, closing your eyes, and letting all your thoughts seep out into the ether is a very relaxing way to de-steam and collect yourself.
Meditation if the art of listening. Prayer is the art of asking. Putting yourself in a peaceful mind and ask the divine creator for assistance in helping you pass the bar exam just might be the best 20 minutes you spend the entire two months.
(9) Simple stretching
If you don’t have time to go to a yoga class, just walk outside and do some simple stretches. Put your feet together and try to touch your toes, holding for at least 20 seconds. Then go two shoulder widths apart, take your right arm and put it over your head, feeling the stretch on your side, and switch sides. Stretch your arms out and move them in circular motion. Do a slow hula hoop movement to stretch out your hips. Do whatever other stretch you feel you need. Stretching is a great way to keep your body and mind from getting too tight.
(10) Call mom, dad, sibling, best friend
Need a positive, encouraging boost? Don’t we all. Make sure you take the time to get it. Call up your most positive, supportive fans and have a conversation. Just hearing their voice for 15 minutes can do wonders. Hopefully, they’ll drop a few, encouraging remarks, “You can do this. Hang in there.” If not, ask them to give you these remarks. Just hearing it will help, even if you told them to say it!
(11) Take a power nap
Naps allow your mind to absorb and process all the information you have been putting into it. A quick 15 to 30 minute power nap can help you get ready for another essay run. Just don’t oversleep during the day. If you go over 45 minutes, you’ll become drowsy, and it might take you a while to get back up and at it!
(12) Eat a snack
If you’re hungry, why wait? Grab a ‘snackers.’ Giving yourself a few minutes away from the book, while feeding your mind with a stimulating and healthy snack is a perfect way to take a break.
(13) Brain games
These are a great, fun way to take a break and strengthen your mind. Think your mind is already being tested enough? These brain games can actually be a great compliment in strengthening your analytical thinking, significantly assisting you for the bar exam. You can get brain game books for cheap at a bookstore or find them online.
(14) Look at your visual/goal for passing the bar
Sometimes, when you need a break, it is simply your mind telling you to remember what you’re here to do. Looking at a goal you wrote, a visual you created, or the reasons you want to pass the bar exam can be a beautiful way for helping you refocus again.
(15) Sing to yourself
You know you sing to yourself when you’re alone in the shower or driving. It’s ok, we all do it. Sometimes you may just want to yell at the top of your lungs. Instead, turn that rage into a nice, sweet melody. Just sing it loudly so you feel like you’re still satisfying that rage feeling.
I hope you enjoyed these great ways to take a 15 minute break. Make sure you take several breaks every day throughout your study period.
As always, good luck in passing your bar exam!
“This name appears on the pass list”
Chicago study on nature vs. city walking
Need a longer break? Check out 15 More ways to take a More-than 15 Minute Break