Dec 11, 2019
Tribune News Service

Healthy Bulldogs: Take a break from studying with these holiday hacks

With finals week just around the corner, it’s important to be as effective as possible when studying.

Taking breaks improves efficiency, helps us absorb the information better, improves concentration and reduces stress.

When it comes to study tips, Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends the one-hour session: 50 minutes of study with a 10-minute break.

If that doesn’t work for you, you can marathon through it and study for three to five hours, and then take a two-hour break.

If more frequent breaks are your style, take a five-minute break for every 25 to 30 minutes of study.

Whatever system you use, spend some of your break time checking out these holiday hacks below:

The most common holiday activity is shopping for presents, so let’s start out with a shopping hack, the price match hack.

Want the online price but you’re shopping in the store?

Many stores like Macy’s and PetSmart will price match with the price on their website.

Other stores will price match with their competitors like Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Sears, JCPenney and Kohl’s. Some do both, like Michael’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.

Always read the fine print, as there may be some restrictions. Have your phone handy to show the sales clerk.

So you scored a great gift for a great price but you forgot the wrapping paper. Use the mother of invention hack.

Got any brown paper bags, parchment paper or tin foil in the kitchen? Keeping old maps, newspaper or any magazines stored anywhere? How about scraps of fabric, an old holiday sweater or scarf?

Mason jars and other food containers, like Pringles canisters, or even the tin foil/parchment paper boxes can make great gift containers, especially for cookies.  

You can even use plain white paper to cover and decorate with holiday doodles or messages.

Convenient and creative!  

Finish off that uniquely wrapped gift with a uniquely crafted bow, using one of these do it yourself gift bow hacks.

Make bows with Duck Brand holiday prints duct tape. Learn how at

You can also check out the craft and décor section on

YouTube is a great place to learn how to make gift bows out of paper.

You can even consider making your own embellishments, like folded paper snowflakes, tin foil circles confetti or holiday shaped reverse cut-outs.    

Your fabulous gift is now ready for the gathering. But any gathering could create some anxiety.

Try the stress-free-fun hack and facilitate anxiety free family or friend time by picking up a cooperative board game.

Games like Pandemic, Castle Panic and Forbidden Island require players to work together as a team to win.

Card games like TableTopics and Would You Rather are another option for creating fun and potentially side-splitting conversations.

Apps like Party Q’s, the Date Night or Fun and Deep categories are also free and lots of fun.

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