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How Earth Institute Experts De-Stress Under Lockdown

by |April 16, 2020

This year, spring arrived a little earlier than usual. Cherry blossom flowers have been blooming with vivid shades of pink and white all over New York. Under normal circumstances, most people would have loved to bask in the warmer weather and admire the mesmerizing beauty of the spring blooms.

Instead, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is weighing on everyone’s minds. The news is all doom and gloom. Reading, watching or hearing about the latest case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths is unavoidable. And anxiety-inducing. Being under quarantine and stuck at home makes everything even more stressful.

During these times of increasing uncertainty, economic depression, isolation, and loneliness, it can be challenging to stay sane. So, to learn how researchers and other experts within the Earth Institute at Columbia University have been dealing with the stress and anxiety, we asked them to share their coping mechanisms. In the slideshow below, they explain in their own words what helps them to de-stress and stay positive and productive.

Paulina Concha Larrauri Nicole Davi Street Chalk Art Jaishree Weston Anderson 2 Robin Bell and Karl Maple Syrup Elisabeth Steven Cohen Jully Merino Carela HY William Chan_ lifeguard Dannie's drawing Hugh Ducklow Ben Orlove
Nicole Davi, paleo-climatologist and adjunct senior research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

During the lockdown and while being under quarantine, it's tough to find the focus and get work done. Writing papers and proposals requires a lot of brainpower. Our kids are also at home now from school. While it's interesting to see what my kids work on and where they excel or where they have challenges, it also takes up so much time as we are pretty much home-schooling them at this point.

To de-stress, I have been doing a family Zoom happy hour on Sundays. I am also doing some boot camps like exercises with my kids. I have an obsession with jigsaw puzzles. We have also been doing some family music time, though I just play the shakers. Sidewalk chalk is surprisingly relaxing and fun and makes me feel productive!

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