Rediscover the Joy of Being Outdoors

By Diana Curtis, University Recreation & Wellness Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer

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Hey you! Yes you! That person with their head stuck in a book. When was the last time you went outside? And no, I don’t mean to walk to your next class. I mean when was the last time you took a breath of fresh air, enjoyed nature, or felt the breeze in your hair – and not because you were running late. When did you last let your mind carelessly wander into unknown places? Can’t remember? That is probably because we forget how much joy simply being outdoors can bring us.

Just a few minutes spent outside is enough for me to feel rejuvenated.

When I step out into those brisk mornings that are quickly coming upon us, the splash of fresh air makes me ready to take on the day. But if you you hate mornings, no problem! Take time to feel the sun on your face in the afternoon. Take a weekend trip and get lost in the woods or on a lake. Try something new and don’t be afraid to get dirty!

I’ve found that the closer I am to nature, the happier I tend to be.

It’s easy with school just starting and all your extracurricular activities piling up to say that you don’t have enough time to just stop and smell the roses, but making time for ourselves is essential. Being outdoors is a remedy that can cure even the worst cases of stress. And who can’t think of an activity they love to do in perfect fall weather?

Think back to when you were a kid. Before all of these phones and computers, we were jumping in piles of leaves, digging in the dirt, and scraping up our knees. We were learning what it was like to make our own adventures.

We were proving that the happiness that comes from being outdoors is only limited by the amount of time we are willing to leave the indoors.

Still not convinced to put down that book? Then grab a friend! You may just be saving them from the same stress that is building inside of you. The possibilities are endless; and by the time you make your way back to the books, chances are, you will be surprised at how much happier and content you feel. Maybe that problem you have been stuck on or that paper that doesn’t have one word written yet will suddenly flow from your fingertips like a waterfall onto the page. Or maybe you will tell someone about your adventures and inspire them.

Let’s all rediscover the joy that comes from spending time outside and unplugged.

And maybe you will walk into your classroom one day and realize everyone is a little happier and maybe a little more sunburnt (wear that SPF, y’all!).

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