Taking a Break With the Codecademy Community

4 minutes

Little compares to the satisfaction you feel as you progress through your courses, mastering new languages, acing quizzes, and building projects — but sometimes, you need a break. Learning new skills is great, but eventually, you might find yourself feeling burned out.

It happens to everybody. One minute you’re speeding through lines of code, the next, you find yourself growing bored or frustrated. You might even feel like you’ve lost your passion for coding.

Fortunately, there are several things we can do to pull ourselves out of a slump. We reached out to our learners on our forums and asked about what they do when it’s time for a break. Below, we’ll walk you through their most popular answers. These tips will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated the next time you find yourself needing a break.

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1. Exercise

Several learners explained that they turn to exercise when they need to get away from their coursework. This comes as no surprise as the benefits of exercise have been long recorded.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercise can help improve your memory and thinking skills — and even your mood as it also helps lower your stress and anxiety. To gain these benefits, Harvard recommends engaging in some form of physical activity for at least half an hour, five days a week.

It doesn’t really matter what type of exercise you engage in as long as you get your heart racing. Some of our learners recommend going for a run. Others suggest hiking, riding your bike, or playing tennis. You could even just go for a walk in a local park or nature trail. As you’ll see below, spending time in nature has its own benefits.

2. Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature was the second most popular way our learners cleared their heads after too much studying. As Spannakin describes in the comment below, there’s nothing like the serenity that washes over you as you stroll through the woods, listening to birds chirp in the trees.

While spending time in nature is great for the soul, it can also be great for your development. This study by Frontiers in Psychology delves into the research on the topic, which suggests that spending time in nature can improve your learning ability by boosting your attentiveness and self-discipline.

3. Do something creative

Whether it’s drawing, painting, dancing, or playing an instrument — doing something creative is a great way to step away from your lessons and get the juices flowing.

As Nicole touches on in the comment above, creativity can be very beneficial for your learning.

npj Science of Learning asserts that improving your creative thinking skills helps you become more motivated and better engaged with your learning materials. It also enhances your problem-solving ability by creating new pathways in your brain, which helps you “become comfortable making new, meaningful connections and thinking of new possibilities.”

Despite the irony in using code to take a break from coding, you could even use tools like p5.js to create art through programming. Check out these art projects made using p5.js for inspiration.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you clear your head the next time you need a break from your courses. Even if you don’t find yourself growing bored or frustrated, consider taking a break anyway. Stepping away from a problem often makes it easier to come up with a solution later on.

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