We hope your summer vacations are going well so far! Whether you are traveling abroad, on vacation with family and friends, or simply staying near campus to take summer courses; relaxation over the break is a must! It is so important for students, faculty, and staff to get some of that much-needed rest, so we are fully up to speed when the busy fall semester picks up. Here we have included some fun relaxation techniques and ways to avoid stress eating both on and off campus!
Have you ever felt so stressed out that your mind starts to feel cluttered? We’ve all been there at some point! According to the Dictionary, practicing mindfulness is "a technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing, thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them." (1) Some studies suggest that practicing mindfulness may help with reducing stress. (2) Luckily, there are many healthy ways to keep your stress levels low and feel reconnected over the summer. Here are just a few to consider:
Draw yourself a relaxing bath and play some calming music. Optional: throw in a bath bomb or some bubbles for a little extra fun and relaxation.
If you’re feeling down, call a close friend or family member to lift your spirits, do something that you love, or play with a pet.
Keep yourself relaxed and engaged by trying the outdoor and group activities on UNF’s campus. You can even rent hammocks at UNF Eco Adventures and post up your hammock in lots of different spots around campus. One of our favorite spots is by the lake near the dorms; where there are plenty of trees to ‘hang out’ by!
Did you know that yoga can be a natural stress reliever, an excellent workout, and an activity that can evoke feelings of calmness? The key to practicing yoga is being able to focus on a sense of peace and to then let that feeling guide you through a variety of stances and stretches. Some studies show that yoga may even lower blood pressure and lower one’s heart rate. (3) Yoga classes are offered at the UNF Student Wellness Complex several days per week. The next yoga workshop on campus is at the UNF Ogier Garden is July 5th at 9:00 A.M. Be sure to check out how to participate in free yoga classes at UNF! You can find the entire summer group fitness schedule using this link.
Hit the Nature Trails
What better way to relax than to immerse yourself in nature and explore some of the nature preserve that UNF resides on. There are over 500 acres to explore and five miles of trails to walk or run on! The Nature Trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset and you may even find some group activities going on that utilize the trails. There are three main paths and two loop connector trails that create for a relaxing exploration. The trails even offer some fishing opportunities, which is can be used on a catch-and-release basis. There are picnic areas if you plan to bring friends or simply just want to enjoy your lunch out in the Natural Preserve. You can find more information on the Nature Trails at UNF at this link.
Splash into Beach and Pool Fun
This is the perfect time of year to take a trip to the beach and jump into the salty sea water! Going for walks on the beach and staring out at the ocean is an excellent way to live in the moment and forget about the stressors in your life. Not a fan of having sand between your toes? The Osprey Clubhouse has a pool available to UNF students from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily. You can access this with a valid Osprey 1Card and always make sure to bring sunscreen, healthy snacks, a water bottle, and a beach bag!
For more information, check out this link.
We hope this guide helps you unwind, relax, and rest during this Florida summer!
Stay cool and collected this season, Ospreys!
2. Grossman P, Niemann L, Schmidt S, Walach H. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 2004;57(1):35-43.