Tuesday, November 24th, 2020...2:00 pm

My 10 favourite breaks that take under 10 minutes

Jump to Comments

By: Georgia Maxwell, Gradlife Ambassador

close up of a watch

 That end of the semester push is upon us, and since stress and deadlines can propel us into overdrive as grad students, I thought I’d devote this week’s post to different ways you can take a break. The nice thing about these ideas are that they’re quick—under 10 minutes!—and none of them involve technology. That way you not only get a break from your work, but from the “I’ve been staring at my laptop for 10 hours and I don’t know my name” haze.

1. Walk around the block

Depending on how your work is going, this idea is either great because it means you get to see other people… or it’s terrible. If you’re feeling like it’s the latter, a fun tip is to wear sunglasses, a mask, and a hat. That way you can walk past your annoying neighbour and they won’t stop to ask if you’re still in school?

2. Make a card castle

This is better than playing a card game in my opinion because then you can rage knock down your creation at the end (again… depending on when your work is going)

3. Make some tea

Making tea is great (if I do say so myself) because it’s a two-for-one kind of deal. Not only do you get to stop working to make the tea (If you have a see-through kettle I highly suggest you watch the water turn into a boil… it’s weirdly satisfying) but then you have something to do while you’re working (sip the tea!)

close up of a mug of tea

4. Have a spontaneous dance party

Even with the 10 minute time cap I made up, you could still fit in two healthy sized songs. In my humble opinion, this works best if you dance so hard you’re sweating by the end of it. Also, if your annoying neighbour lives below you, it might not be a bad idea to throw in some jumping just to mix things up.

5. Write a limerick

The general idea of a limerick is that it’s a five line poem where the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines all rhyme, and then the 3rd and 4th lines rhyme as well. Here’s an example in case you need help starting out:

My paper is such a mess

Why did I digress

From writing it to instead

lie in my bed

Now I have even more stress

6. Turn your thesis draft into a corner comic book

As a kid it was my DREAM to figure this out but I lacked the acumen and focus (and probably still do…) But if this was, or is, also your dream, now is your time! All you have to do is draw a new doodle on the bottom right hand corner of each page, and when you flip through your draft at least the doodle will come to life… even if your words don’t (sorry)

4 images of a corner of a piece of paper, each one has a stick man who is in a different stage of doing a hand stand. They are organized in a grid

If you need more help, check out this video from 2010 I found

7. Call a friend

Ok maybe it’s a little naive to suggest that this one will be under 10 minutes—unless your friend doesn’t pick up (rude). If this happens, I highly suggest you leave a 10-minute voicemail of you complaining. Your friend will love that. I promise.

8. Cry

But make it quick!

9. Clean your kitchen

I don’t know why I like to do this when I’m stressed. I guess because it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something?

10. Daydream about winter vacation

What are you gonna do once you’re done? Watch TV until your brain melts? Read that book that’s been on your shelf for 6 months? Cook something that doesn’t involve a microwave? Take ten minutes to dream about that finish line! But if you do, a pro-tip is to set a timer or your daydreaming session can quickly spiral into a two-hour nap. I know from experience.

I hope I gave you some new break ideas, or that I at the very least made you laugh. If I failed to do either of these things, what I do hope you’ll take away from this post is that breaks are important!! The end of the semester is stressful in general, and with Toronto now in round 2 of lockdowns it’s arguably even more so. So even if you’re drowning in thesis writing or coursework or feel crunched for time, it’s good for your brain and your health to take some breaks—even if they’re quick. Happy studying!

Leave a Reply