We are at the start of one of the most unusual semesters yet. Both living through a pandemic and taking hybrid or fully online classes can feel very isolating and take a toll on your mental health. I believe that it is so important to take care of yourself and your mind, and one of the ways we would normally do this is through social interactions. Obviously, this semester is so different and quite limited when it comes to the types of social interactions we can have. My advice: get creative and get outdoors! Fresh air can do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing, and even if you don’t have roommates to do these activities with, they are still equally as enjoyable with the right mindset!
I’ve put together a list of some socially distant activities you can do this fall to get outside in beautiful Vermont while staying healthy and safe!*
*Important to note that to be the most safe, limit these activities to people you live with, or stay 6 ft apart and wear masks*
1. Apple Picking
Pick a sunny weekend day and head to the orchards! Apple picking in VT is prime from late September - end of October, check out Champlain Orchards, Hackett’s, or Shelburne Orchards to get some delicious apples and of course - cider donuts. [bf_image id="wz7p49gqw2xbgg84qv27bw"]
2. Farmers Market
The Burlington Farmers Market is open at 345 Pine Street every Saturday from 9am-1pm. It’s outdoors, limited capacity, and requires masks to be safe. Some of Burlington’s best food venues can be found there, and it’s the perfect activity to do either solo or with your roommates on a sunny Saturday!
3. Dinner on the Waterfront
This is probably my favorite activity this time of year. Get takeout from any local Burlington restaurant (currently so many more businesses are doing takeout than usual) and bring it to the waterfront for a meal outdoors! It’s the perfect way to support local businesses while still keeping yourself and others safe. Enjoy it anywhere from Waterfront Park to Leddy Beach and have yourself a time!
So of course I had to throw hiking in this list, because if it isn’t obvious, Vermont wins for beautiful autumn hikes. The foliage in mid-October is breathtaking. Some hikes I would recommend checking out are: Mount Mansfield’s Sunset Ridge, Camel’s Hump, Stowe Pinnacle, or Snake Mountain. If you’re in the mood for an easier but still gorgeous hike, go for Mount Philo!
5. Coffee & a Drive
Lastly, although it isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think of an ‘activity’, I believe getting a nice coffee with your roommates and going for a scenic drive on a crisp fall morning is unbeatable. Throw on your favorite playlist and head down Shelburne road to catch some stunning views and take in Vermont’s scenery. There’s also great local shops in the Shelburne area where you could grab lunch and take it to Shelburne Farms to eat. This activity is simple but totally unmatched with the right people!
[bf_image id="q2wioz-cdl1mg-agfwzh"] This semester is unlike anything we have ever experienced before, so be sure to go easy on yourself and make your mental health a top priority. I hope these ideas can inspire you to continue being creative with activities and other ways to switch up your daily routine. Happy Autumn!
UVM Counseling & Psychiatry Services Number: (802) 656-3340