A respite is a break from something that's difficult or unpleasant. If you're cramming for exams, take an occasional walk to give yourself a respite from the intensity.
Respite may look like it rhymes with despite, but this word has a stress on its first syllable (RES-pit). It comes from the Latin word respectus, meaning refuge, but we almost always use respite to describe a time, not a place, of relief. If you've been fighting with your partner, a visit from a friend might offer a brief respite from the argument, but the fight will pick up again when she leaves.