A Breath of Fresh Air

by Kathleen Chen

There have been many changes since our school’s lockdown.  I haven’t been able to see my classmates in person and have deeper conversations with my teachers and peers in a classroom setting.  The honest face to face interaction and reading body language during class discussions was sadly stripped away, but we are managing online  zoom or Microsoft team  sessions.  It’s definitely not the same though.  The brisk walks under the sun I had between different class breaks ceased, instead they had become quick breaks into the kitchen and back up to my study room desk.  I missed seeing my classmates daily from different grades and even the lower grade girls who always beamed with huge smiles watching us upperclassmen pass by.  There was no more contagious  laughter from the playground that brought so much joy to me.  This would be my long awaited Senior year at my school…

I understood the lockdown though, it was for the safety of our community so I like many of my classmates followed the stringent restrictions placed since COVID-19.  I have been staying at home to protect the people at risk and my own family. Consequently, I have been stuck at home for what seems like an eternity now.  It has been 9 months.  I love my family dearly and there have been silver linings.  However, I needed an outlet to get away from the chaos of our world at home and my family (as much as I love them). Especially after playing competitive volleyball for over 10  years with hours of intense workouts, I had an itch to exercise. I started a regimen and goal for myself towards the end of my junior year because I knew something had to change to get me back into shape physically and mentally.  I started waking up at 7AM every morning and just going on nearby local trails to hike.  It completely changed my mood for the day.  Hiking has solved most of my problems.  I just needed the fresh air and the sun again, to get my heart going and be in nature.  I would often go with my best friend socially distanced and that gave me the emotional and peer boost I needed as I am very extroverted as well. 

At home, I don’t get much privacy or room to think without noise, so going out in nature and having time for myself is extremely healing.  Being outside without technology has been able to help me reflect on current events and have the leisure of breathing freely literally and figuratively.  

 I highly recommend trying this, even if it’s just walking around your neighborhood.  Get some sun and vitamin D and a break from technology.  It’s extremely healing to the mind, body, and soul.