Introducing…“Ask a Coach!” In this new blog series, our Writing and Learning Center coaches answer our UNC-CH undergrads’ burning questions! Check back every month to see what our coaches have to say about everything from taking breaks to utilizing office hours!
What are some short, restful breaks that don’t involve scrolling through Instagram in the library?
Jacob: “Taking breaks is one of the most crucial steps of all my study sessions! Personally, I plan out my breaks so I can use them to reward myself while I work. As a die-hard millennial and appreciator of all things from the late 90’s/early 00’s, I have curated an extensive playlist of all my favorite music from that era. I reward myself by taking walks around my space and listening to music during breaks. Nothing resets my mind like a lap around the library while jamming to S Club 7, Wilson Phillips, or Savage Garden!”
Miranda: “Breaks are so important! I have found that not even picking up my cell phone during a break is vital because I want to stay in the same mental space while getting a little rest from what I was doing. I usually will take a 10 min walk around the library (those add up at the end of the day), have a snack outside to get fresh air, or check in with myself (do I need water, to move, or to shut my eyes and listen to some music). I also set a timer, so I am reminded to return to work!”
Tony: “I find that taking a few minutes to browse the amazing collections we have in our libraries is a wonderful way to both get up and take space from the work I am doing for a short few minutes, as well as potentially choose a good book to pleasure read! You never know what you might find!”
Aidan: “Personally, I like to bend at the hips to let my head and torso hang down, and hold that for thirty seconds to a minute or so. It decompresses my spine and feels amazing — although it looks pretty weird if you’re in a public place. (Maybe you could pretend to me doing something innocuous, like tying your shoelaces?) I also like to read extremely short pieces of media, like webcomics (xkcd is my favorite) or sometimes poems. Poems are especially nice because they take a little effort to digest, so while I may well enjoy my “poem break,” I’m highly unlikely to go on a poem binge and forget about my homework.”
This blog showcases the perspectives of UNC Chapel Hill community members learning and writing online. If you want to talk to a Writing and Learning Center coach about implementing strategies described in the blog, make an appointment with a writing coach, a peer tutor, or an academic coach today. Have an idea for a blog post about how you are learning and writing remotely? Contact us here.