Q: Emily, I’ve been extremely stressed during this semester. What should I do to keep my stress levels in check?
There is something cleansing to the mind, body, and soul when you immerse yourself in the outdoors. Living in Colorado, we are blessed with unlimited hiking, biking, fishing, and everything in between. Take advantage of it! My favorite thing to do is pack up the car with my little sidekick puppy and drive up into the mountains and go on a long hike.
Take this time to allow yourself to completely forget about work, school, and other stressors. Simply focus on the way the leaves sound when the breeze ripples through them. Feel the warm sunshine or the cold, crisp fall air on your face. Being in nature is almost intoxicating and it is the best escape.
Remember, when you sweat and raise your heart rate, you lower your stress levels! So don’t be afraid to really get yourself moving. Amp up your hiking speed or choose trails that are more advanced. Now that’s not to say to push yourself to the limit and completely exert yourself, but really get moving. If you are a beginning hiker (or biker or whatever you may be doing) remember not to push yourself too hard. You want to work up a good sweat and get those endorphins kicking in, but you don’t want to get a head rush and pass out. With anything you do, find your limits and but don’t push them too hard.
My favorite hiking destination is the Grand Mesa, but especially Old Mesa Creek, which actually used to be the old ski resort! Another favorite of mine is up in Dominguez Canyon at the Bridgeport trail head. You will find an amazing waterfall during your hike that you can stand under (granted that it is summertime).
For more places to visit outside as well as inside, check out the Grand Junction Visitor’s Center website HERE.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily White is a Junior at Colorado Mesa University majoring in Mass Communication with a minor in Business. Be sure to check out her weekly column HERE.
Kayla Niksic, Photographer, KMSA