By: Meghan Cohen, MPH, Center for Health and Wellbeing Coordinator &
Kate Maloney, Wellness Communications Coordinator
The chilly days are becoming few and far between, and it seems that spring may be here to stay. With the mild weather comes a host of enjoyable activities, including of course, lazing on McKeldin Mall while avoiding school work and dreaming of summer plans.
But remember, wellness doesn’t go on spring break. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do some figurative spring cleaning and spruce up your personal wellbeing in all six dimensions while enjoying the new season at the same time.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” -Margaret Atwood
Sometimes it’s hard to get excited about going to the gym when it’s so nice outside, but there are many opportunities to work on physical wellness this time of year while being outdoors. Walk or jog around McKeldin Mall – the perimeter is about ¾ of a mile. Or, set out for a UMD Tree Walk. Did you know that there are more than 8,000 trees in the UMD arboretum? Many of them are in full bloom this time of year. If the stair-stepper machine is more your thing, head over to the Comcast Center for a great stair workout in the sunshine.
Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” —Robin Williams
Grab your friends and head outdoors for some BFF-bonding time. Bring a picnic, a deck of cards, or your iPod and portable speakers to a grassy area on campus, sign up for an Outdoor Recreation Center adventure trip together, or throw an impromptu game of flag football or frisbee together on one of the many outdoor recreation facilities like Fraternity Row, Washington Quad or LaPlata Beach.
Did you know that you can get wifi on McKeldin Mall? There’s no need to be cooped up in the library in order to study. Check out this wireless coverage map on campus for all the outdoor spaces on campus where you can surf the net. Take your laptop or textbook outside for a sunnier study session. Just try not to get too distracted with people-watching.
Spring is when life’s alive in everything. —Christina Rossetti
There are plenty of outdoor spaces on campus for quiet reflection or meditation. One of our favorites is the Garden of Remembrance and Reflection at the Memorial Chapel. There are all-weather journals to pen your thoughts by the calming water fountain and a labyrinth for moving meditation. Spring is an especially fertile time of year for spiritual growth with testaments to rebirth, awakening, fresh possibilities, and beauty all around. You might try one of these seasonal spiritual practices to welcome Spring.
I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. —Ruth Stout
Vocational wellness isn’t just about getting a job. It also includes engaging in volunteer opportunities that speak to your personal values. The Public Health Garden, located in the grassy space between the School of Public Health and the Eppley Recreation Center, is a great place to volunteer while enjoying the spring weather. You can plant, harvest, weed, and learn about gardening while you’re there. Many of the service opportunities offered through Terp Service Days are also outdoors, with activities like cleaning up local parks and streams and working in community gardens.
An optimist is the human personification of spring. —Susan J. Bissonette
There are a host of health benefits attributed to sensible sun exposure, including emotional ones like a improved mood, reduced anxiety, increased motivation and energy, and management of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Bottom line – you can enjoy the delightful spring weather and feel good knowing that you’re taking steps to improve your wellness.
Before you run out the door just yet, don’t forget about proper sun protection. It’s a good idea to check out the daily UV Index issued by the EPA and follow the corresponding guidelines to prevent harmful exposure to UV radiation.
Share with us!
What do you like to do to take care of yourself this time of year?