“People really do have a limited attentional capacity, and most of us are not able to focus on one task for long stretches of time,” Mark said. “So it’s very important to be proactive and take a break. I like to recommend doing a simple rote activity. Rote attention is a state in which your mind is engaged but on an easy task like knitting, gardening, or playing simple games.”
Even if it feels like you should spend every spare moment preparing for the big test or presentation, a walk in the park or wandering around a quiet locale can give your brain the break it needs to return to work or your study session more refreshed. Columbia Health also writes that walking and stretching, among other tools, can aid in stress reduction. University Life has collected great well-being resources to help navigate the end of the school year as well.
With these ideas in mind, Columbia News has selected five quiet places nearby where you might consider taking a break during periods of high stress, perhaps with a crossword or small craft in tow, to help quiet your mind and recenter when you might need it most.
Central Park; Between 104th and 106th Streets on the East side of the park
Central Park’s most formal garden is what one of our editors calls “a winding meditative wander when it is in full bloom.” Spend some time in Conservatory Garden and let your mind wander. If you need a little mental break from within your room, you can enjoy this walking tour of the garden in full bloom on YouTube.