June has quickly approached, and with it brought the promise of sunshine and summer festivities. As students get closer to the end of another school year, it is easy to prioritize the importance of finals over the importance of mental health. As busy college students, we often get sucked into a fog of school-related activities, forgetting how important it is to take some personal days to alleviate stress and focus on the importance of self-care. Here’s how I clear some of that student fog.
It is amazing what getting outside on a sunny day can do to benefit your mental health. In an article titled, “Effects of Weather on Human Emotions,” Psychologist, Stanley C. Loewen explains, “Because light prevents melatonin production this in turn means that it also makes us more awake, switched on and alert and with more energy”(5). Have you ever noticed that after studying for hours in the library you become tired? That’s not just because you are working hard, it is also caused by a lack of sunlight. The next time you are studying during the day and feel like you aren’t retaining any information, go outside! Take a break in the sun and allow the light to aid your cramming sessions.
My next favorite way to alleviate some stress: taking a hike! Every Tinder profile might be onto something when they say, “I love hiking!” because let’s face it, hiking is great. Take a friend, pack some snacks, and pick a destination. It doesn’t have to be the most challenging hike in the world, just a bit of a climbing to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. Not only does sun aid mental health, but so does exercise.
We use the term “hike” lightly because it doesn’t have to be an all-day commitment. A friend and I spent a total of three hours on a local trail for this specific excursion. At 10 a.m. we set out in our hiking shoes to a location about 15 minutes away, hung a hammock between two trees and spent the rest of the time relaxing and appreciating nature.
My advice to you all would be to take a hike and see how you feel after. It may not be for everybody, but you will never know until you try.
Comment below, or share a photo of your favorite activity that helps keep you sane during the hectic times in life. Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista so we can see too!