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Relax and you'll be more productive

                    Did you know that relaxation is crucial for productivity? Research has shown that our brains and bodies need time for renewal and repair in order to function at their best. Too much stress without time for rest has negative impacts on academic achievement and workplace productivity, and college students are especially susceptible during finals. Research has shown that, much as they do during sleep, our brains cycle from alertness to fatigue in approximate 90 minute intervals. That means that doing our best work requires that we take breaks about every 90 minutes to give ourselves a chance to recuperate and build up more energy. There are a lot of things you can do to give your mind a break. Sleep is absolutely necessary for a fully functioning brain, and even naps as brief as 15 or 20 minutes can give your mind a chance to recover. During finals we're less likely to get a good night's sleep, so naps are even more critical. Meditation is another great way to give your mind a break. Check out this list of the 10 best meditation apps for your iPhone or Android. You can also read about some tried and true meditation techniques in the e-book Relaxation, Meditation, and Mindfulness by Jonathan C. Smith, or check out some classical music for meditation on CD. Getting out in nature is another great way to relax your mind. Lucky for us, Sonoma State's campus has tons of beautiful spaces to take a walk and get away from your work for awhile. And there are even more parks and trails mere minutes from campus. Even taking a break to get coffee or tea with a friend will give your mind a rest from studying, making you even more focused and productive when you get back. This semester during finals don't forget to relax if you want to do your very best.