Unwind Outside! Get a Mental Health Break and Bring Out Your Inner Child with These Five Winter Activities

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” Greek philosopher Aristotle once said those wise words and we’re taking his advice this winter season and stepping outside to play. Yes, play, no matter your age.

Just because the temperatures are low with occasional snow on the ground and a chill in the air doesn’t mean you get to hibernate indoors. Countless experts and studies reveal that taking the needed time to relax and unwind is better for everyone. Combine that with the importance of having a healthy dose of fresh air and everyone wins. So, get ahead of your health this winter and spend some time in the great outdoors. You deserve it.

  1. Set aside some time daily, or several times per week, to get outdoors — your mental health will thank you. So, dress warm and once outside take a brisk walk, shovel some snow or have a snowball fight with your family or friends (safely).
  2. Take a trip downtown to The Rink at Campus Martius Park for ice skating fun. Let your inner child come alive and skate this winter as a fun weekend activity by yourself or with family or friends. And if you can’t skate, just enjoy the beautiful downtown view and take in the sights and sounds.
  3. MSU Extension encourages Michiganders to consider taking outdoor photography during the winter which could include breathtaking scenery, animals, city life and more as a way to get a creative mental health break. And you don’t need a fancy camera, a cell phone works just fine in capturing the beauty in and around metro Detroit.
  4. MSU Extension also says snow tubing down hills as a fun winter activity can be done anywhere with a safe and accessible hill and using an old inner tube. Snow tubing is a popular activity and if you don’t have a hill, a safe incline to slide down should do.
  5. Sledding down hills or down driveways (using different types of sleds) is also a popular winter activity that doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Use a sled with a steering piece, or a round saucer, and then get in and slide down, according to MSU Extension. This is also a fun way to sneak in exercise and not even know it. Though your body might feel it the next day.


For more tips on outdoor winter play, ideas and more visit https://msu.edu/ and search “winter activities.”



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