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What I Will Take With Me and Leave Behind from Last Quarantine to the Next

Last semester, quarantine was a scary endeavor. I was unsure of how I would fill my time with meaningful activities and other things that would keep me sane throughout a lockdown. After going through the first semester of COVID regulations, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to stay mentally in-check with just a few activities that I always made sure to do. Although, there are some things that I will not be repeating from the last semester during this quarantine period. 

Beginning with the things I’ll keep with me during the quarantine, I 100% recommend prioritizing moving your body in some way during the day. Going to the gym is always a time and space for me to work on myself that never fails to improve my motivation for the rest of the day. With no access to the gym for a little while, however, I have adjusted to completing at-home workouts. Although the ability to workout outside in the warm weather made this much easier, I have been making sure to block out time in my day to be able to get at least a 30 minute workout. Unexpectedly, the snow is actually quite helpful. In the past, I could never imagine actually enjoying Hamilton winter weather; but, quarantine has forced me to take advantage of the outdoors while I can. Additionally, my housemates and I have been enjoying sledding and learning how to snowboard down the admissions hill. Not only is it super fun, it is a great workout going up and down the hill. 

Another thing I am taking with me from last quarantine is eating consistent meals. This one may sound silly, but if I get into a snacking episode, I won’t eat proper meals throughout the day. Not eating actual meals is so detrimental to my overall mental health and the well-being of my body for the rest of the day. I have also found that too much snacking makes it harder to sleep. This is not to say you should not snack at all, though, as having healthy snacks on hand in between meals has been super helpful as well. My favorite meal has been red Thai curry, while my favorite snack is cut up cucumber with salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. It is crisp, crunchy, and really refreshing. 

So what am I not taking with me from past quarantine activities? Using my phone so much!! As I am already looking at a screen all day for class and homework, experiencing the extra blue light gave me headaches and increased grogginess. Don’t get me wrong, I love scrolling on TikTok in between class, and maybe even during; however, this should be done in moderation, and finding other mindless activities has been better for me. My housemates and I have been really into making beaded friendship bracelets, paint-by-numbers, and puzzles recently, for example. We also love to just watch TV together while we talk, and that way we are not too close to the screen. 

Another part of quarantine that I am not taking with me from last semester is not making my bed! Again, another silly one, but going into my room and having a messy bed with my pillows all over the floor is so frustrating and annoying. I feel like my room is a reflection of how my mind is feeling, so keeping it clean is a good way for me to feel organized. It’s so easy to want to lay in bed all day, but making the conscious effort to get out, tidy my room, and have a clean space has been so useful in this quarantine already. Not to mention my roommates are much happier with me. 

I am sure that once again I will learn from this quarantine, and there will be bits and pieces that I wouldn’t take with me if we have another semester of COVID restrictions; however, I know this is all a new learning experience for everyone. The best thing I can do is stay positive and take each day for what it is. Quarantine is a good time to work on yourself and I have been enjoying finding the ways to do just that. 

Hi! My name is Kate Connelly and I am a junior studying Economics and Geography.
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