For many of us, the beginning of summer fosters a blank-slate type of feeling. Goals are set, trips are planned and jobs are started. However, we often fall short on accomplishing all that we had intended to.
In the high stress environment that today’s college students are in, it is important to work some simple activities into your daily summer routine to make the most of your time off. Lucky for you, VALLEY found a few mindful activities that will leave a lasting, positive impact on your summer.
Try a Yoga Class
While this tip may seem a bit cliché, yoga is a great way to help clear the mind while promoting physical fitness. The mind-body connection emphasized throughout the yoga practice will leave you feeling calm and refreshed.
Junior, Christina Chambers has been taking yoga classes for many years. “Yoga is one of those things that pretty much everyone wants to try, but are always skeptical of how much it works,” she says. “It really has helped me center my thoughts and feelings in the past.”
If you’re worried about paying for an expensive yoga studio, YouTube has yoga classes ranging from a few minutes to an hour that can help you meet your mindfulness goals on a budget. Take some time out of your day and say “namaste!”
Go For a Walk
Exercise is one of the best tools for promoting mental health. However, many people underestimate the ability of walking to be an effective form of exercise. It can provide you with the same benefits as other rigorous forms of exercise without the wear and tear. Walking for Health says that walking is a great way to clear your head and has been scientifically proven to help with stress, self-esteem and anxiety.
Junior CSD major Rachel Anton is known for “taking walks without destinations.” Anton says, “Whenever I’m having a stressful day or I need to contemplate a situation, I take a long walk and allow myself to think.”
Anton says that she doesn’t always walk to clear her mind, but to allow her thoughts to flow freely. So, get out and walk to work, walk the dog or just go walk for the sake of walking — your mind will thank you.
Keep a Journal
If you’re looking for a more introspective habit, journaling is the perfect way to self-reflect! It also can provide you with a plethora of mental benefits. While many may see writing down your daily experiences in a journal as an antiquated activity, research has proven that keeping a journal is an integral tool for understanding your mental health. In a similar way to exercising, writing in a journal can help manage anxiety, stress and depression while it keeping your mind fresh. Who doesn’t love looking back on what your life was like years prior? Whether you go out and buy a new journal or prefer to type on your computer, start writing!
Whatever habit seems best suited to your lifestyle, try it out! Tailor it to your own schedule, and channel your inner mindfulness.