7 Ways to Fight the Winter Study Slump

Don’t worry—we still want you to enjoy your Winter Break. But while you have some free time, there’s no reason you can’t get ahead and set yourself up for success next year—while still making time for rest, relaxation, and holiday fun. Here are 7 ways to fight the Holiday Study Slump.

1. Take some time off.

Burnout isn’t good for anyone! Acknowledge all the hard work you’ve put in to the last semester, and reward yourself for a job well done by laying off the books for at least a few days. REALLY. Clear your mind, recharge, play your favorite games, watch your favorite movies, and spend time with family and friends.

2. Set study goals.

Once you’re feeling refreshed and relaxed, start listing out everything you need to get done to prepare for next semester. Assignments due after the break, concepts you want to master, chapters you need to read before you start a new course. Writing it down will help the workload feel more manageable, and you can start prioritizing.

3. Prioritize assignments.

Think about which items on your list are going to be the most difficult or take the most time. Those are your first priority, so get those tasks out of the way first. For example, leaving an entire essay until the last few days of break will leave you a lot more stressed than a few math problems, or a chapter to browse.

4. Make a study agenda.

If you don’t have a planner or a calendar, get one! Block out your free time each day and decide which assignments you want to tackle on which days. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time—an hour a day devoted to your studies will do. You can always add more time later, but it’s good not to overload yourself. It is vacation, after all!

5. Set boundaries.

Make sure your friends and family know that while you want to spend time with them, when you’re studying, you need to concentrate. Tell them ahead of time when you’re planning to study, and let them know (kindly!) that you’ll be done sooner if you’re not interrupted. If they want to support you, a good way to still spend time together is to have them help you with a quick review session! Have them quiz you with flashcards, or play a memorization game.

6. Take breaks.

Get up and move, go outside, take a coffee break, play a game. It’s important to break up study time to clear your head, prevent burnout, and keep studying from becoming a punishment. Make sure every hour or two you get up from your desk or switch gears. Taking regular breaks keeps you from burning out or getting study fatigue. According to Cornell University, “Research shows that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5–60 minutes) from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus.” The best kinds of activities for a break are the ones that will help you re-energize and re-focus. The experts say to “find activities that give your mind a break and allow you to breathe deeply, laugh, move your body, be creative, or ‘zone out’ on purpose.”

7. Reward yourself.

Positive reinforcement is key—and they keep studying from becoming a chore. Every time you finish an assignment, reach a study goal, or complete a chapter, reward yourself in small ways. This could be a 10-minute break, a movie, a snack, a video game, or whatever brings you joy. This helps you stay motivated, avoid procrastinating, and build healthy study habits.

Start the year off right.

We hope these tips help you leave winter break, refreshed, relaxed, and prepared for the semester ahead. And don’t forget—we’re here for you 24/7, whether school’s in session or not. Numerade has over 1.4 million short-form STEM video lessons and solutions, matched to your courses and textbooks, taught by expert educators and supported by an A.I. tutoring platform. Check back and follow us on social for more study tips, tricks, and special offers from Numerade.