So, it’s the end of February. We get it, you’re tired.
By this point assignments are piling up, group projects are getting you down, and the thought of your next deadline is looming over your head. The stress is very real, and you’ve probably become very aware of how hard it is to get enough sleep, drink enough water, or eat a balanced diet. It’s poutine and a decent brew for some, or shorter gym time and longer fast food lineups for the rest of us. With things revving up like this, it’s time to get yourself out there and try a new winter activity, give your brain a rest, and challenge yourself. Your body and mental health will thank you for it.
Here are a few awesome activities to give the old college try when you have a minute after your exams or on the weekend. They’re all solid solo activities, but are equally as great in a group:
If you’ve never done it before, don’t be scared away! Snowshoeing is easier than you think, and you can check out this super helpful article about how to get started. It’s a great way to get out into the winter wilderness without it being too physically taxing or expensive.
This might be a throwback to your childhood, but there’s no arguing that a good toboggan ride can be a lot of fun. If there’s enough snow on the right hill, you can gain some awesome speed. Be sure to be wary of any obstructions through the course or at the bottom.
3. Cross-country skiing
For this one, you need cross-country skis, but they’re rentable if you don’t yet have them, and sometimes available at your school’s rental center. There are trails that are physically demanding and others that are more leisurely but equally as beautiful, and it’s a perfect alternative to those looking for something other than alpine skiing. For some good ideas, check this article out.
This has been going on around the world for quite a while now. It’s an amazing outdoor treasure hunt that will take you places you wouldn’t otherwise have thought to go, whether you’re in downtown or exploring beyond the city limits. Find more information on how to get into it here.
If you haven’t tried it, now’s your time, and if you have been already, get out there again! Challening in a completely different way than skiing, boarding is an awesome pursuit and a killer skill to have in your back pocket. Also, nothing beats a warm-up beverage after a long day on runs.
6. Winter gardening
Sometimes it’s hard to keep your plants alive when the greenery outside looks anything but flourishing. Chins freezing, fingertips losing feeling, and naked trees swaying in the February air is not exactly an optimal gardening ambience, but hear us out! This article gives you an in-depth step-by-step plan for planting an indoor garden that is completely transferrable to outdoors when the frost quits.
7. Winter camping
Jamie Clarke, CEO of Live Out There, among numerous other avid adventurists, loves to winter camp and even took his wife-to-be for a date overnight in a snow cave. Imagine the silence of the snow-laden forest around you, the back-to-basics nature of melting snow for water, and keeping warm with your partner. Check out your local national and provincial park maps for great places to go.
This one’s a little bit more mainstream and a bit more controversial, but it’s a rather effortless way to get out into the wilderness and experience the snow. It’s also great going fast, regardless of who’s sitting passenger. Remember that it is your responsibility to protect our alpine environment and to stay away from the snowshoe and back-country ski crowd. Find the designated areas for machine access. Rental is approximately $300/day, depending on your local rental store.
9. Winter hike
This one’s for people who want a low barrier to entry with a high reward. It’s something that is relatively easy to do, requires little to no equipment, and allows for time to talk, connect, and explore. The work comes in finding trails for winter hiking that won’t require snowshoes or skis, especially if you want to get out of the city.
This is ultra-Canadian. You can find arenas all over, so you don’t have to be outdoors–BUT at Live Out There, we argue that it’s the most fun when you’re on a pond, or a lake, or even in a city centre with an open ice rink. Get your skates sharpened, tie them on tight but with enough room for circulation, layer on some mittens, grab a cocoa, and release the stress.
A quick Google search will give you all you need to know about where to go for these activities in and around your city, so get to it! These are terrific alternatives sy are great alternative to the less constructive things you’ve been thinking of to relieve the study stress. And you will sleep like a baby!