It’s finally that time of year to pull out those sweaters, enjoy mugs of pumpkin spice lattes and start carving pumpkins! The fall season is in full swing and there’s no better place to enjoy it than right here in Boulder, Colorado.
Many students start to feel particularly stressed during this time of year as midterms are in full force. It is important to make self-care a priority. Here are some of the best fall activities to help you get through midterms and enjoy the season:
Go for a hike: At a school like the University of Colorado Boulder, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by mountains and have access to some of the most beautiful views in Colorado. There are several hiking trails, both easy and hard, throughout Boulder that are ideal spots to take a hike with friends and roommates. There are several hike beginning at Chautauqua Park just over a mile from campus that range in difficulty but have breathtaking views of the city. Some of the more difficult hikes include Royal Arch and Mt. Sanitas. Other trails that tend to be a little easier but equally as fun and beautiful are Sunshine Canyon Loop and the Boulder Reservoir. Going outside is one of the best ways to help clear the mind and decrease anxiety. Being outdoors not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to your physical well being, reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.
Take a scenic drive: As the leaves are changing throughout the state, painting some of the most vibrant and beautiful fall colors in the trees, taking a scenic drive through the mountains is not something to turn down. Take a drive up Flagstaff Road to Lost Gulch Lookout, which is only about 15 minutes from campus, as a way to decompress and take care of your mental health. There are also many beautiful neighboring towns extremely close to Boulder that can make for perfect short getaways. Taking the drive to Nederland, which is about 40 minutes from Boulder on Canyon road, is peaceful and a great way to get a break from school. Moreover, taking the roughy hour-long drive to Estes Park and through Lyons rewards you with a scenic mountain town to explore amidst the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park.
Visit the farmers market: The Boulder County Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is the perfect place to check out some of Boulder’s freshest produce, buy flowers for yourself and have a fresh cup of coffee. Located on 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe, you can find everything from crisp apples, honey and eggplant to basil, mixed greens and sweet potatoes. Discovering the right foods for your body and brain can help you think more clearly and stay alert throughout the day, which helps when you’re studying for midterms or just trying to improve your academic achievement in general. Something as simple as a more colorful diet can be a great resource to alleviate stress, so heading to the market might be the exact break you need from a long study session.
Go to a pumpkin patch: Finding the perfect pumpkin to carve and a corn maze to get lost in is a great way to celebrate the fall season. The short getaway from the campus bubble will give you the opportunity to have a small distraction from schoolwork and do a fun activity with your roommates or friends. Just six miles away is Munson Farms which offers a pumpkin patch close to campus. If you want to go further, a 30-minute drive to Anderson Farms in Erie will offer you an expansive patch along with a corn maze and seasonal treats. However, if you don’t want to make the drive or don’t have a car, carving pumpkins with friends can still be the perfect activity to take a break from any long school day. You can buy pumpkins at a variety of local grocery stores in Boulder such as Safeway, King Soopers or Alfalfas!
With the countless outdoor activities and fall festivities in Boulder, students have many different opportunities to take a break and distress from the craziness of midterms. Understanding that small acts of daily self-care and finding interests that make you happy can cause a major shift in your mentality.
There are several ways to improve your well-being, and learning how to incorporate them into your everyday life can drastically start to change the way you optimize your time at CU and focus on your priorities.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Brooke Perlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.