It's starting to get colder, classes are dragging on, and midterms are approaching. You know that feeling. Sadness is creeping in as you log into Zoom University for the millionth time this year, wondering if you will ever have a live class again. It's important to know that you are not alone. Every single college student will probably be feeling the exact same way at sometime or another this semester. While the cold is inevitable, this seasonal depression doesn't have to be!
One of the best ways to stay happy and healthy is through activity, so I am here to share with you five ways that you can stay active this fall and help you stay positive all the way through finals week.
Start Running or Walking
I know most people cringe at the thought of running, especially outside, but it can actually be quite liberating. A lot of gyms are closed at the moment and as it's getting colder, it's getting harder to leave the house because of the cold, but I say embrace it! Throw on some fleece-lined leggings, some gloves, and a fuzzy headband and get out there! I recommend lots of thinner layers so that if you do start to get a little warm, you can always take one off.
If you are new to running, try starting off easy with this little trick. Say you want to walk/run for 30 minutes. On the first day, walk for 8 minutes, run for 2, and repeat two more times. When you're ready in a couple days, decrease the walk time by a minute and increase the run time by the same. This way, you can build up to running for the whole 30 minutes. I promise, after you come back from that run and you are sweating while it's fifty degrees, it's gonna feel so good. I know I always feel pretty accomplished.
Get Together with some Friends and Play a Game
All you need is an open field and frisbee, football, or if you want to get fancy, a Spike Ball set. Find some friends and play a game! With the nice fall weather, it will give you the feeling you are on that one Thanksgiving episode of "Friends."
If the outdoors doesn't interest you, there's plenty of things you can do with your friends indoors as well. To stay sane, have a game night every weekend with a deck of cards. It might not be the most physically active activity, but it will better your mental health significantly just by being around your friends.
Explore Surrounding Areas
As a Penn State student, there are a lot of areas surrounding my campus to travel to on the weekends, and many I didn't even know about until I looked them up. Around your campus, see if there are places you could hike, bike, or take a nice walk.
Because I live in downtown State College, I'm very close to Mount Nittany and the Arboretum, but when I did some research, I found multiple state parks around the area. Wherever you are, look up parks around you. You might be surprised what you find.
Download a Fitness App
I'm bringing you back to early March, the start of a long quarantine. Gyms just shut down and everyone downloaded some sort of fitness app to try to keep themselves in shape. A lot of apps lowered their prices or even went completely free and still are today! Here are a couple I found to be helpful:
This one's a little bit embarrassing, but I've decided to share it with you guys. If you need a break from your work, it's freezing outside, and you feel like you need to move, this is a great solution. Go to your room, put on some up-beat music, and let loose. There are no dance skills necessary or required, and you might even work up a little sweat while doing something fun.
You can even bring your family, roommates, or whomever you live with into the fun. Have a set time of the day for a dance break to get everyone in a good mood.
There you have it, five tips to a happier healthier you!