Brain Breaks

Key Points:

  • Brain breaks are like a short time out (5 to 10 minutes or more) to give your brain a rest.

  • They can be taken while you are in class or while you are studying.

  • They help your brain and body to relax.

  • Some examples: going for a short walk, eating a snack/drinking water, doing some stretches, listening to music, reading something fun etc.

Why Are Brain Breaks Important?

While recovering from your concussion, you may feel like it takes more effort or energy to complete daily activities such as getting ready in the morning. You may feel like your brain tires more easily.

This is because your brain has to work harder after a concussion and has less energy. It’s like playing your favourite computer game on an old computer.

When your brain is tired, this can lead to difficulties in other areas, such as getting school work done, or with your mood. You may also have difficulties getting through a full day due to reduced energy.

Frequent “brain breaks📝To take a short break from what you are currently doing, and do something that “resets” the brain or makes you feel better.” can help.

What Tires Out the Brain?

If you think any of the following makes your brain more tired, check the box:

Click to check your answers

The Goal of a Brain Break

The goal of a brain break is to allow your brain to rest.

Rest looks different for each person, so finding what works for you may take some time and practice.

The idea is to take a short break from what you are currently doing, and do something that “resets” the brain or makes you feel better.

We often think of rest as physical, like lying down on the couch to rest the body. We can also give our brains a break, so instead of studying or learning, which takes brain energy, we can do something that is relaxing to the brain.

How to Take Brain Breaks

Here are some ideas that you can get started with:

Find a place with minimal distraction or noise

This could mean if you are in class, leave the classroom and go for a walk outdoors or drink some water. If you are at home doing homework, try taking a break and go play with your pet or talk with a family member or friend.

Take short brain breaks often

Initially, you may need to take short brain breaks every 1 to 2 hours throughout the day. Over time, you can reduce the frequency of these brain breaks as you start to feel like you can do more during your day.

Set reminders on your phone

Some find it helpful to set reminders in your phone to help you remember to take your breaks.

Some simple examples of how to take a brain break
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Do yoga stretches
  • Do some simple colouring
  • Taking slow, deep breaths
  • Go outside/be in nature
Active relaxation technique

Some people find it beneficial to use an active relaxation technique, such as calm breathing, positive visualization, progressive muscle relaxation [PDF] or mindfulness.

If you feel like trying a short mindfulness activity, click here [link] or here [link].

Add to My Recovery Plan 📒

Here are some common strategies that many teenagers find helpful. You can chose the one that you would like to add to your personalized Recovery Plan.


A brain break should be simple to do. It can be any quiet activity that is familiar and comforting to you.

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