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Staying Entertained, Educated, and Connected While Staying at Home


As we find ourselves staying at home and maintaining social distancing, it can be challenging to maintain a routine that keeps our minds and bodies active. It can be tempting to slip into a cycle of watching reruns or overconsuming information through news outlets. These activities can both drain our energy and bring on unnecessary and avoidable anxiety. Below are a variety of activities that will stimulate your mind and offer you different escapes during this unusual time.

VISUAL ARTS
Many museums are offering virtual tours of their world-renowned exhibits. Here are a few museums you can explore online:

Palace of Versailles The famous Baroque French palace and former royal residence of Louis XIV.

British Museum Located in the heart of London, this museum is known for housing the Rosetta Stone and multiple works of art by Michelangelo.

Van Gogh Museum Located in Amsterdam, this museum houses the most extensive collection of Van Gogh paintings.

Guggenheim Museum Considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this New York city museum showcases of various works of art spanning from the impressionist era to the postmodern era.

Musée d'Orsay This French art museum is dedicated to the artwork of French artists throughout generations.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Located in Seoul, this museum specializes in Modern Korean Art.

PERFORMING ARTS
The following symphonies are broadcasting their past performances online:

 Seattle Symphony

 The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

 Berliner Philharmoniker

 CREATIVE
Bluprint An online platform that hosts classes specializing in creative crafts.

MasterClass Online classes taught by famous experts on a variety of disciplines such as cooking, acting, and economics.

LetsMakeArt.com Have you ever wanted to be inspired by painting, but weren't willing to make the plunge to get all the supplies? Let’s Make Art sends you all the tools you need and provides tutorials to get started.

ACADEMIC
Coursera Offers hundreds of online courses from top-ranked universities.

Edx Another online platform that offers classes from 100+ institutions from around the world.

SPORTS
Watch classic final rounds of The Masters Although this year's tournament at Augusta National has been postponed that doesn't mean you can't get your fix. The Masters official YouTube Channel has all of the classic final round replays available in an easy to navigate format.

Baseball, A Film by Ken Burns The legendary documentarian reached out to PBS to ask that they offer this for free in the coming months. Look for it on your TV streaming platforms or watch it online on the PBS website.

EXERCISE
Go for a walk, run, hike, or bike ride Current social distancing protocols in most areas allow for outdoor exercise as long as you abide by rules about maintaining six feet of separation from others. 

Stream workouts on online or on streaming platforms There are countless online and streaming services that offer free or inexpensive access to exercise videos and online classes. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video all offer options, as do individual exercise providers such as CorePower Yoga, Aaptiv, and Daily Burn. Nike is giving everyone free access to their Nike Training Club - Premium smartphone application until further notice, and another free resource is the National Intitute on Aging’s Go4Life program.

Use home exercise equipment While more expensive than other options, using your home gym, stationary bike, or rowing machine are all great ways to improve both your mental and physical health.

MINDFUL ACTIVITIES
Perhaps we may have found it difficult to engage in mindful activities in the busyness of our daily lives. More time inside presents us with an opportunity to develop a habit of doing these activities below: 

Journal Journaling is creating a written record of our thoughts & feelings. There are no formal “rules,” although most people who participate in journaling report doing so as a daily exercise. Benefits of journaling include improved anxiety management, stress reduction, and enhanced perspective on thoughts and experiences, to name a few.

Create a gratitude list Making a gratitude list is a great way to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety, and remind yourself daily of the things that truly matter. Such a list can help you to let go of the bothersome and irritating stuff that can be impacting your mental health. It's enjoyable but also useful to make a gratitude list. It can help to give you relief from stress and worry, and provide you with a sense of purpose.

Meditate  There are many forms and levels of meditation, and plenty of resources online that can help you, especially if you are a beginner. The benefits of meditating are different from person to person, but most agree that it at least has the potential to improve the psychological, emotional, and physical quality of life for those who practice regularly.

STAYING CONNECTED 
Contrary to popular belief, you can still stay connected with loved ones. While the methods to do so may have changed, it is possible to strengthen our interpersonal relationships during this time. Here are a few suggestions on how to do so:

Call friends and family via video call While some video technology can be intimidating, applications such as FaceTime, Google Duo, and Skype, to name a few, have made it easier to call and connect over video. 

Help keep kids and grandkids busy by doing remote learning activities One good example is this free daily class from the Kennedy Center and artist Mo Willams. It's a live, daily 1 pm drawing class for kids, and they can also be streamed on-demand afterward. Many children are now set up for remote learning via their schools. Find out whether you can assist them or set up a time to discuss what they have been learning.

Join (or start) a virtual book club  With movies, concerts, bar trivia night, and other live events canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, more and more people seem to be turning to literature to pass the time. Check out this article from Time to find out how to join an existing virtual book club, or start your own.

 Just read! Pick up that book that you have always wanted to read or pick a novel from TIME's 100 all-time best novel list. You can download an ebook from your local library even if you can’t visit it in person.

Staying indoors doesn't mean we need to remain stagnant. While we are unable to change the current situation outside our doors, we still can ensure that we are active and flourishing while we are social distancing. We hope that you can utilize some of the resources above to keep your mind sharp and possibly even expand your horizons.