Every college student should be engaging in some form of self care, whether that be working out, listening to a favorite song or even writing in a journal, but I am particularly fond of one self care activity in particular. One self care outlet that is often overlooked is simply being in nature. Being outside surrounded by plants and fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of the modern age serves as an instant mood boost. Set aside some time to turn off your phone, disconnect and simply be in nature.
There are so many ways to get outside and spend some time in nature. If you feel like being active, then a walk around your neighborhood or even a hike at a state park can be relaxing. However, this time spent in nature doesn’t always have to center around being active. Simply sitting down and being with your own thoughts can help slow your mind down for a while and can be incredibly relaxing. You can bring a notebook and write or draw or you can do nothing at all. That’s the beauty of spending time in nature: nothing is mandatory. You set how long you want to stay and what you want to do with your time there. No one is asking anything of you and you are free to do whatever makes you feel at ease.
Personally, my favorite part of relaxing outdoors is simply being outside and seeing naturally beautiful things. Everyday life is busy enough that nature can be overlooked if you don’t make a point of looking for it. Sitting for a while and just observing nature can be one of the most relaxing activities. Before coming to college, I would often walk on a nature trail near my house and go to a little pond to sit and relax after a stressful week. On campus, I’ve been working on finding places that I enjoy and that are relaxing to me. So much changes when you first go to college and finding these places is one easy way to keep yourself grounded.
Above all, just get outside, spend time in nature and see what works for you. There are so many ways to be outside and de-stress, which is something that all college students need to do from time to time, and regardless of if you have five minutes or two hours, there is something that you can do in nature with that time. Find places in nature that feel special to you. I believe that there’s a place outside for everyone and more people would find their place of relaxation if they simply got out into nature. So, go explore, try new things and relax in nature; it’s the best form of self care that I know.