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Wellness

Ways to Enjoy Spring in a Pandemic

Spring is finally here! It feels like this past winter was twice as long. Not sure if that’s because we got more snow, or because we were more isolated with all of the COVID-19 guidelines, but either way, I’m happy it’s warming up outside! However, I’m still not vaccinated and don’t want to spread the virus to others. So, I came up with a few fun activities to do this spring while staying safe!

The first, which I missed so, so much this winter is studying at a coffee shop! Many of ours were closed or only offered takeout, which meant I couldn’t snag a table and stay for hours. However, now that it’s getting warmer, I can order a coffee (and a pastry, of course) and set myself up at a table outside. I often see other family friends and community members picking up their coffee while I’m studying, which provides some much needed social interaction. 

Secondly, you could listen to a lecture while on a walk. I like to visit the different natural parks and other recreational areas around my hometown when I do this, just for a change of scenery. However, I’d recommend you make sure that it’s a recorded lecture, not a live one, and that you have it downloaded on your phone ahead of time, as the cellular connection can be pretty spotty in the various parks. I’ve found that walking outside and getting some fresh air and vitamin D has immensely improved my mental state; it also keeps burnout at bay. I try to go for walks as much as I can, though it’s clearly very weather dependent. Take advantage of the nice days when you can!

Another, less common idea, is to pick up a new hobby — gardening! So many people have started to collect potted, indoor plants. Indoor plants provided joy and a sense of routine for many people during the pandemic. Now that the weather is getting nicer and many people have had some time to practice with their indoor plants, I think starting a little garden outdoors would be a fantastic idea! I always enjoyed the time I spent gardening with my father when I was little; it’s no different now. You can start small, with just a few plants, and build up from there. Vegetables and flowers are personal favorites of mine — that way I get some yummy snacks and a pretty view! However, you can plant whatever you’d like — lots of people really enjoy having fresh herbs to use in their cooking as well. 

Lastly, if it’s still chilly where you are, you can always get a head start on your spring cleaning. It’s not quite as much fun as the other activities on this list, but it’s a necessary act. Tidying up around my desk and study space always gives me a much clearer headspace and lowers my stress levels; it’s definitely worth a try if you’ve been more anxious or worried about your classes.

I hope you choose to try one or more of these activities and are able to enjoy the beautiful warmer weather soon! 

Katie Ryan

Columbia Barnard '24

Katie is an incoming first year at Columbia College. She's a coxswain for the men's heavyweight crew team and spends her free time working out, volunteering, and reading. Katie is planning to double major in English & Comparative Literature and Human Rights, specializing in Economics.
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