Finding Relaxing Spaces around U of T

Although I may sound like a broken record, I still have mono. What is worse, this mono is impacting my medications, meaning my anxiety is on high gear. On the bright side, however, I am getting much better and my mental health is significantly improving. When I got diagnosed with mono a few weeks back, I was so tired that I couldn’t even leave my dorm room. I also didn’t feel like seeing my friends for fear of giving them my illness. As a result, I was lonely and depressed along with being incredibly sick and tired. But when I started to feel better, I was able to get out of my room. While time has proven to be the best medicine, I also noticed that my mood was greatly correlated with my surrounding space. I found that when my environment had lots of sunlight (Vitamin D from sunlight is proven to help with mood) and I was surrounded by some of my close friends, I felt significantly happier. Furthermore, whenever the room was quiet and calm, I was able to better focus on my readings and assignments as well. The point is your environment can sometimes make all the difference in your mental wellbeing. So without further ado, here are some places I find relaxing and calming around campus, and hope you will too:
  1. Trinity College Quad
    Me in front of the Trinity College Quad. You can see only a little bit of it as it is hiding behind my massive head.
    As you can all see, the Trinity Quad is beautiful, with the concrete design and an occasional friendly squirrel. There has also been reports that a small hawk hangs around and plays with our assistant dean's dog.
  2. Philosopher's Walk
    A selfie of me with a small glimpse of Philosopher's Walk.
    The beautiful Philosopher's Walk where people think about Socrates and Kierkegaard while having a a venti ice coffee with no ice.
  3. Junior Common Room (Trinity College)
    Me taking up the entire photo expect a little show of one of the bookshelves.
    The Junior Common Room at Trinity College! It is open 24 hours and has books on the shelves that no one reads! What a lovely place. And before you say, "Haley is this a tour of Trinity College or U of T?" let me just say that the UC JCR is also quite lovely (and bigger) and they have coffee and goodies you can buy! What a win-win. Thumbs up UC folks.
  4. Graham Library
    Me in the stacks of Graham Library
    "Why in the world is Haley taking selfies in the library?"
  5. UC Quad
    Me at the UC Quad trying not to be spotted.
    Hangzies in the UC Quad. Love the architecture around here. Also tried not to laugh when a student loudly was saying, "oh my god, is she from that U of T blog thing?!?" *Haley runs awkwardly away to the UC JCR after this photo*
Now you may be thinking- “Haley! It is so cold out! I can hang around the quad or Queen’s Park to relax.” Aside from the fact that I am from Edmonton so I really don’t ever find Toronto cold (as I am writing this now, Edmonton is -20°C...Toronto is -2°C), I am a person that regularly needs to get outside for breaks. Walking around aimlessly out  in the sun is one of my favourite activities and something that really calms my mind (hence why I was once so addicted to cigarettes). Nevertheless, all of us are different. My biggest suggestion is to find something, anything that helps you feel calm during this exam season. For me, managing my stress levels largely comes down to hanging out in a positive and calming environment; for you it might be going to Hart House and exercising for an hour. Whatever it is, I hope you keep it up to stay healthy and stress-free as we head into these final few weeks of the term. Lots of love, Haley

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