After a long week of studying for finals on an even longer journey towards the real adult world, the best thing for your mind and body may just be a simple walk in the park – literally. A breath of fresh air alone has way more benefits than downsides and it’s something you can enjoy any time of day. There’s no need to be afraid of taking a break from a busy day to just take a walk, so why don’t you join us.
Now it’s not just us who feel this way. In Japan, there was an activity created in 1982 called “shinrin yoku” or forest bathing which is the practice of walking through the forest to help free your mind and open up your imagination. Forest bathing, also known as forest therapy, works wonders for de-stressing your mind and body, especially for college students or recent grads, or anyone who deserves a walk in a beautiful forest (you).
As someone who owns a Fitbit, I find counting my steps to be a huge motivator. It helps me meet my goals, and break personal records each day. There are also plenty of walking competitions out there you can totally sign up for if you want a challenge. Some people find themselves competing with a walking buddy as well, so don’t be afraid to ask your friends to take a walk with you (if might even be safer that way)!
Walking with a buddy can boost your morale more than you think. If you walk and talk while catching up with an old friend rather than sipping on some chain coffee or munching on snacks, you’re not only enjoying time with your friend, you’re actually burning calories! It’s also a way to put down your phone, and actually, enjoy each other’s company.
However, your walking buddy doesn’t even have to be human for you to have a good time. Dogs make amazing walking buddies, AND they can help protect you from any sketchy strangers or dangerous activity. There are leashes and harness out there for many other animals that you can walk with from cats and bunnies to hedgehogs and birds.
If you’re a writer this one is for you. Sometimes a journal is all you need to get through the day. So, why not start a walking journal? Sure, your smart watch can track all your health data but why not take pen to paper every once in awhile and hang it up somewhere. A walking journal can easily help you keep track of your daily activity and you can visibly see your progress building over time.
Prepping for your new walking plans doesn’t have to be a drag. You now have an excuse to go on a shopping spree if you can afford it. New walking shoes and walking clothes (yes there are actual walking clothes out there) can be comfortable and stylish and are much cheaper than running clothes.
Of course, walking can burn calories, but if you feel swamped with school, or with life in general, this is nature-therapy. Throw on your shoes, head out in the fresh air, turn your phone on silent, and walk. Once you get home, your head will feel more organized, and you will feel better.
Let us know in the comments below your hacks to feel less stressed.
Collaboration with Cassandra Marie Vella
Featured Image via Pexels