Ways to Refresh & Embrace Springtime (Amid Finals and a Looming Lockdown)

For those living in the northern hemisphere, spring has officially sprung! The birds are chirping, tiny flowers are emerging, trees are budding and the skies are getting clearer. Sadly, it’s difficult to feel excited about the changing seasons with finals and more lockdowns looming ahead (dare I say our final stretch? Fingers crossed!). To make it a little easier, I’ve compiled a list of some things you can do to embrace the Spring season and the warmer weather during finals and/or lockdowns.

1. Cleanse your space (including digital space)

Try to find some time to do a deep clean of your living space. Getting rid of dirt and dust that has accumulated over the winter is both therapeutic and good for your lungs. Blast some music while you’re at it—dance in your underwear. While I’m doing this, I also tend to go through my belongings and my closet, selling or donating things I don’t use anymore. Another thing that helps clear my mind is to cleanse my digital space—Unfollowing and deleting, organizing the files on my computer, etc. After two hectic semesters, my living space and laptop are a mess, so this is a much-needed tidying session.

2. Get outside

Getting outside is essential after a long winter with so many places in lockdown. The air finally smells like spring, and it’s warmer and fresher out. Find a hiking trail near you, sit outside in your backyard if you have one, go to a park or go for a run. The possibilities are endless. Getting outside during finals is especially beneficial because spending time outdoors is proven to help with focus and concentration. Something I found works for me is taking several brief walks throughout my work day, usually in between different tasks. Each time I come back, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next assignment.

3.Movement

This one can go hand in hand with getting outside. However, spring also tends to bring temperature fluctuations and lots of rain, so it’s important to find creative ways to move indoors for those cold, rainy spring days. When it’s not so nice out, I break up my work day with short workouts or yoga. Yoga is definitely my favourite, though, since sitting at my desk all day causes my body to feel super stiff and sore. There are also lots of dance workouts on Youtube, pilates, etc. Even just a gentle stretch is better than nothing!

4. Flowers/Plants

Bringing some plants into my living space is my favourite way to welcome spring! If you’re able to, you can drive out to a garden centre (provided they remain open) or pick up a bouquet from the grocery store the next time you’re there. If you have the space and you’re really feeling it, you can even start your own herb garden from scratch to add a homegrown element to all your meals. 

5. Take up creative hobbies

This one might have to wait until after finals, but it will be especially helpful if where you live goes into another lockdown. During winter break, I took up knitting, and I plan to teach myself how to crochet once this semester is over! You don’t have to have the innate artistic ability to get into a creative hobby, and things like knitting, crochet and cross stitching are really therapeutic activities. Another thing I’ve been loving lately is collage. The best thing about it is you can literally use anything laying around: magazines, newspapers, various fabrics. Getting creative is a great way to destress and heal your soul after such a turbulent year.

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