There are so many ways to explore activities that will keep you happy and productive in wherever your spring break destination is. Whether it be in your apartment, bedroom, house, or any space you’re serving your civic duty indoors, feeding and nourishing your mind, body and spirit is still undoubtedly essential. Create your own personal itinerary with these bits of inspiration and resources. Get creative and get moving with simple ideas for a holistically explorative time, adapting to the confines of your physical space for a spring break truly like no other.
Make an Indoor Garden ~ Plant & Compost
Bring the outdoor elements in and find some serenity by growing an indoor garden. Random seed packets or plantable cards lying around can offer an opportunity to test your green thumb. The plants can be transported if you have an outdoor space, and while you’re outside or planting indoors, scout out some ideal composting spots. Organic material comprises a large majority of what we throw away, and is known to release greenhouse gas methane. Starting and maintaining your compost requires three essential ingredients: browns, greens, and water. With a range of options and resources to explore, a composting project will not only save food scraps from landfill, but help nourish your plants by enriching the soil—and even reduce your carbon footprint.
In the process of diverting your waste from landfills with composting, begin to collect food and bio-scraps in a designated container for the freezer. Planting and composting may help you feel more centered and grounded, and are enriching activities that can improve air quality and give you access to fresh produce. Your spring break and beyond can be the start of a new, positive routine that incorporates mindfulness and gratitude. By finding something to care for and routinely attend to with watering, pruning, repotting, etc., why not include a leafy friend in with your household quarantine-mates?
Read & Write
Spring break is not commonly associated with producing written works or getting in a dose of reading, yet these activities in a personal, independent context offer a much-needed pause from screen time. Pen and paper, tactile interaction is especially important considering day to day life now is overwhelmingly dependent on artificial mediums. Explore alternate realities beyond the confines of your physical space and immerse yourself in other worlds. Journaling is a simple, effective way to feel more centered and connected to emotions.
There’s something whole and substantial about a dense paperback book with its worn spine and cover, although the e-library Internet Archive currently offers over 1 million books—free and at your fingertips. The emergence of a vast range of resources are opportune for maximizing your spring break and exploring universes interminable by your imagination. Opt to set aside time everyday to invest in some leisure reading—maybe light a candle, find a cozy spot, and simulate coastal sound effects if necessary.
Take a Free Online Class
Now is the time to explore your interests, and the highly prestigious Ivy Leagues are now accessible with mass open online courses—overarching topics ranging from social sciences to health & medicine. These empty days may provide for a unique opportunity to enroll in one (but there’s no limit!). Another course on top of it all may seem counterintuitive during spring break, but if you have an interest you’ve never pursued, this could be your chance. Broaden your horizons and opt to earn a certificate from the likes of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale, adding to your accolades and complementing your current studies. Browse through online learning platform Coursera and bookmark courses for your own curated selection.
Get Up and Move!
Movement based on creative expression is so liberating, especially because really no one is watching. Fully indulge in your solitude and challenge yourself to learn a new dance, and don’t be too embarrassed to hop on the infamous Tik Tok bandwagon. If your quarantine-mates or neighbors don’t mind, blast your music and embrace your physical space.
Have an Art Night
Many of us look to spring break as a time for release, and art allows for the mind to unwind and the spirit to be free. Artistic engagement is often interconnected with healing and elevated psychological states—even if it’s just doodling in your sketchbook. The dissociation from work and art can be integral to our mental state, and may precipitate enhanced creative expression from simply exploring colors, shapes and textures—upon personal intention. Dissimilar to our ostensibly limiting spaces, art, in essence, is boundless. While this activity can be more delicate in nature, you can explore various art forms for emotional liberation.
Existing in limbo may be a common sentiment right now, so planning an “art night” may serve to create some structure and a bit of positive-anticipation during spring break and beyond. Get on google calendar and send an invite to your best pals, bringing everyone back together for a virtual hangout using a video-chat platform of your choice. Unwind, catch up, and get a chance to work on or start up some projects in the *virtual* company of your friends. Even scan and send the finished pieces to your friends, serving as little bits of their imagination and pieces of their personalities to adorn your walls.
Do Some Spring Cleaning
Seize this extra time to reorganize, redecorate, and declutter. Your current physical environment is now your involuntary spring break destination, and all of its elements may somehow or another blur and dull with each passing day.
Physical surroundings may reflect or influence mental state, so opt to fill it with things that bring you joy and remove the things that don’t. Traditionally taboo “clutter” may fall into the latter, yet placing sentimental pieces like old tickets, friends’ artwork, or dried special-occasion flowers can visually orient your mind with little reminders of happiness. Set the tone of your space with favorite colors, places, friends, etc., introducing these refreshers to energize your immediate landscape. Tactile organization and updating can even translate into a clearer, more mindful headspace.
Make a Moodboard or Vision Board
Pinterest is another creative escape, a trusty source to fuel imagination and psychological exploration when you may feel physically confined. Mood boards can be shared with friends as a collaborative virtual environment to find light and inspiration for future plans or perhaps a getaway. If you’re getting bored of your environment, get lost in architectural, interior design, or natural-environment pins—unashamedly delve into the depths of immersive board curating. After all, visualizing through conceptualization is a powerful tool to sustain clarity and promote expression.
Host a Virtual Picnic Date ~ Bake & Cook
Simulate spring picnics in the park with a lovely home-made selection of whatever you have left. Set up a blanket—maybe get out the nice linens and fancy dishes—and play some music for ambiance. Make it a date, even with just yourself. If you happen to have random ingredients existing in the depths of your pantry, get inventive and use the items that would otherwise lie around, possibly for a “kitchen sink recipe.” You can also bring Italy to your home with “Nonna Live,” an 84-year-old Italian grandmother imparting all of her pasta-making wisdom with recipes dating back 100 years. A virtual potluck if you will.
Upcycle Your Old Clothes ~ Make & Mend
After spring cleaning it is likely to stumble upon the worn, used, or abandoned pieces that haven’t been in the main rotation of your wardrobe. Maximize your garments to their fullest-deserving, potential and freshen up even your oldest pieces for longer wear. Give your garments second, third, and fourth lives with embroidery or simple mending that only require a needle and thread. Even without a sewing machine, this is an amazing tool to add detail: play around with side seams, add some colorful stitches and hand-sewn designs to dress up denim or a plain t-shirt.
Now is the time to get inventive with old fabric scraps. A lovely spring sundress can be made for your virtual picnics and potlucks with even some old bedsheets. Scrounge up those old, worn patterns used a million times and make some new pieces to evolve your capsule wardrobe. Let those spring break looks come to fruition, and get out of your lounge uniform—that may now be your second skin—and slip into your upcycled masterpiece. Save your new fabric scraps for future use, which can be played on for garment paneling or fun patches for mending.
There is no guilt in devoting time for yourself. Do things to make yourself happy, even if that’s just laying in bed.