Student Life

Combat Fall Stress: Autumn Activities for Relieving Depression

It’s that time of the year again: the leaves are changing colors, the jacket you haven’t worn in months is starting to see the light of the day, the sun seems to set a little bit earlier each night, and the smell of autumn permeates through the air. The beginning of fall signifies a change in season and a time when many head back to the classroom.

For college students, autumn is a time to hit the books in anticipation of mid-term exams. Stress and depression levels tend to run high during this period. It’s vital to take frequent breaks and relax when the opportunity arises. There are many fun fall-related activities to act as stress relievers and promote the release of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter responsible for pleasurable sensations.

  • Embrace the Outdoors – Fall is a great time to enjoy relief from oppressively hot summer temperatures and a stint of comfortable weather before winter sets in. Find that special someone and take a stroll outside to enjoy the fall foliage. Hiking is a great way to workout if you’re looking to burn a few more calories. Head to a local orchard and go apple picking. Research where the closest pumpkin patch is and find your favorite pumpkin. Try taking a walk through the corn maze. Many amusements parks or fairs also have haunted houses set up during the month of October. These are loads of fun and a great opportunity to embrace each other if either person gets scared.
  • Fall Cooking – Cooking food and indulging in great-tasting refreshments is a dopamine-enhancing activity. There is plenty of great cuisine reserved for the autumn season. Nothing beats hot apple cider on a chilly day. Try baking some apple pie with locally orchard-picked apples or everyone’s favorite autumn treat: pumpkin pie. Other in-season produce includes: butternut squash, many types of grapes, most mushrooms, pears, sweat potatoes, and cauliflower.
  • Find that Someone – One of the best remedies to combat autumn depression is love. Many of the above activities are enhanced when someone special is involved. Cooler weather means great opportunities to snuggle. Studies also show that male testosterone levels peak in the fall and female hormonal glands are at their most active, creating great atmosphere for lovemaking – one of the best stress-relieving activities out there.

By Levi Stein

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