My Favorite Form of Self Care: Getting Outside!


Bridge across Eno River, Image from

One of my favorite ways to take a break from school work is to get outside. When I am in the middle of reading or writing papers, taking a moment to go on a hike or a jog really clears my head, helps me to concentrate, and will sometimes let me think of that last sentence I am looking for to wrap up a paper. It’s a great form of self-care.  Most of the time, my dog Maybe, will come along.  There is a ton of green space and many trails in Chapel Hill, so there are lots of opportunities for me to get outside and get moving. One of the best things about North Carolina weather is that it is almost never to cold (or too hot) to be outside and moving. A little change of scenery can really help me feel rejuvenated.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite places to hike in the area.

Eno River State Park, Durham, NC

This state park along the Eno River is great for all seasons. In the summer, you can go swimming or wading along the Eno. In the winter, there are miles of trails to explore.

Bolin Creek Trail, Chapel Hill, NC

This is a paved trail not far from campus. It’s an easy walk and I will often meet friends (and fellow social work students) here to walk the dog.

Battle Park, Chapel Hill, NC

Battle Park is at the east side of campus. Forest Theatre is also right at the edge of the park. Although it is not a huge area, it is really popular among runners and very convenient to campus.

Duke Forest, Durham, NC

The Duke Forest has many different entrances so I don’t think I’ve ever been on the same trail twice.

As the weather gets warmer and my school assignments come more frequently, I know I’ll be out at these places a lot more! 


About alicepollardunc

Hi, I'm Alice. I am a concentration year student in the School of Social Work. I am completing a dual degree with the Department of Maternal and Child Health in the School of Public Health. I am originally from Wilmington, NC, and after spending several years working in Chicago, I was so happy to come back to my home state for the MSW program. I am interested in chronic disease prevention and care and programming that addresses the intersection of social justice and health. When I am not in school, I enjoy hiking with my dog, Maybe.
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