Eyes dry and burning from spending hours staring at a computer screen or textbook? We’ve all been there. With final exams approaching, you may be finding yourself spending all of your time in the library or the nearest coffee shop with the only study break you’ve taken in the past six hours has been to text your mom to let her know you’re still alive.
Take a much needed study break and give your eyes some rest with these tips. Your mind (and your eyes) will thank you later.
1. Take regular eye breaks
Try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away (preferably something green like trees or grass) for 20 seconds. Get quick relief from a bright screen and be able to go right back to your work.
2. Sketch, color, or do something creative
Channel your inner Picasso, grab a stress-relieving mindfulness coloring book, or sketch a few flowers. Give yourself a break and take your mind off of schoolwork for a little bit.
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3. Split your time between books and screens
Alternate or divide your study time into sections: textbooks and screens. Results of staring at a backlit screen for too long include dryness in the eyes and even nausea. The ~official~ medical term for this is “computer vision syndrome” according to Dr. Dennis Siemsen of the Mayo Clinic. This issue is on the rise since many schools and universities opt for digital textbooks because of their affordability and ease of access.
4. Do laundry or clean
If you’re a stress-cleaner like me, then this is a no-brainer. Doing either of these will give you the feeling of accomplishment for completing tasks while giving yourself a break for a while.
#SpoonTip: If you prefer studying in your room, providing a clean space for yourself can help you calm your mind and not become easily distracted.
5. Adjust your monitor’s brightness settings
The brightness of your computer screen should match the lighting of the setting you’re in. If it’s too bright and looks like a light source, lower it. If it’s dull and gray-looking, raise it. This quick adjustment could be the best quick-fix for avoiding eye strain.
6. Do a few ~light~ exercises or stretches
No, you don’t need to bring your yoga mat or even be wearing workout clothes to do these simple exercises and stretches. Take a break and focus your attention on something else for a bit. Close that laptop screen (or textbook) and take the time to relieve all that tension that’s been building in your joints from sitting all day.