Fun and Creative Ways to Spend Your Second Spring Break in Lockdown

Given how trying this pandemic has been, it seems pretty hard to believe a year has elapsed since the world officially shut down. On one hand, it is shocking to realize that we have spent a full year in lockdown. On the other hand, it feels like ten years have passed since COVID-19 became a serious threat to us all. Nonetheless, we all spent last year’s spring break processing the new information on how we must live our lives in order to keep others safe and healthy; we were processing what it was like to experience the first global pandemic since 1918. What should have been a time to relax and take a break from stressful school work, wasn’t. This year, luckily, is different. Our understanding of the virus and its ability to spread has increased tenfold. We also have multiple effective vaccines circulating internationally and saving lives as we speak. However, we are still technically in lockdown here in the UK, and are obliged to follow the guidelines that the government has set out for us so that we can be rid of this virus for good. At the moment this means that we can gather outside in groups of four with no more than two households (although it is strongly advised only to go outside when absolutely necessary). So, with these general rules in mind, what can we do this spring break that can help us enjoy our class-free schedules while adhering to lockdown rules? 

  1. 1. Try a New Recipe 

    chopping food and food prep

    With a little more leeway in our schedules, now is the perfect time to get creative about what you’ve been craving. Explore new ideas on Epicurious, Tasty, or wherever you come across a recipe that seems equally intriguing and delicious! 

    1. 2. Themed Dinners

      Assorted toast

      With your flatmate(s) or extended household, and with those new recipes in mind, don’t be scared to expand your horizons a little bit and turn it into a themed culinary dinner. One idea could be ‘Una Cena Italiana’, which could include an Aperol Spritz and bruschetta starters. For dinner, give homemade pasta a try and chef up your favorite sauce to go with it. Best of luck, chefs!

      1. 3. Write Letters to Friends

        Letter and envelope

        Pandemic or no pandemic, keeping up with friends is important - what better way to communicate with your friends than via handwritten letters? I have been keeping up with one of my high school best friends via letters since freshman year, and it is always so exciting once that month’s letter makes it into my mailbox. 

        1. 4. Go For a Hike or Walk 

          Girl hiking

          Given Sally Mapstone’s request for students not to leave St Andrews during spring break, options are pretty limited for those of us who are used to long trails for long hikes. However, St Andrews is a much bigger place than it seems at first glance; it is more than those three streets. A walk all the way down West Sands alone could get you some substantial mileage. To take it even further, start on Market Street and walk to Craigtoun Park for some beautiful sights. The point is: get creative!

          1. 5. Make a Bucket List For Post-Pandemic Activitie

            writing in journal on desk

            Considering it has been a year since any of us have been able to go out, I find one of the best ways to cope with the current lockdown situation is getting on a Facetime or Zoom call with your closest friends and drafting a bucket list of everything you want to do once restrictions are lifted. It could be as adventurous as a well-planned weekend trip, or as simple as a grand beach day on West Sands.

            1. 6. Reread Your Favorite Book 

              hand holding book open

              It can be especially comforting to revisit your favorite reads - especially during a time meant for rest and recharging. I recently dove back into Jane Eyre, delightfully reliving exactly how I felt the first time I read it. Which book will you choose?

              1. 7. Watch the Best Picture Nominees Just in Time For The Oscars

                Woman in White Bed Holding Remote Control While Eating Popcorn

                On March 15th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year’s Oscar Nominations. With the ceremony being postponed to April 25th, this will give you plenty of time to become more familiar with this year’s contenders before the winner is announced. The Best Picture nominees are:

                Nomadland

                The Father 

                Judas and the Black Messiah 

                Minari 

                Promising Young Woman 

                The Trial of the Chicago 7

                Sound of Metal 

                Mank

                This helpful article tells you where to stream all the movies from home!

                1. 8. ​Practice Mindfulness/Meditation

                  woman meditating with dog beside her

                  It can be fun to plan post-lockdown shenanigans and try different activities with your flatmate(s) or extended household, but we also need to stay happy and healthy mentally. Mindfulness is essential to not only strengthen, but to maintain our mental state. Consistently being gentle with yourself and your surroundings is vital to make the most of this relaxation time so that when a time of serious stress is upon us, we will not only get through it alive, but we will be able to learn from it. Including mindfulness in your day can be as simple as meditating for 5-10 minutes when you wake up, or even making an active choice to be present as you go through your everyday life. One thing I like to do to be more present during meals is, especially if I am alone, to remove any devices or distractions - whether it be a movie, your phone or even music. One of the best ways that we can be better connected with the present moment is through focusing on one sense at a time - and actively enjoying it. 

                I hope some of these suggestions will inspire you during these last few days of freedom. Happy spring break!