As Bob Dylan would say "The Times They are A-Changing" right now. With COVID-19 keeping most of us in our homes as much as possible, we're all facing a lot of changes and uncertainty about how long this will last, and figuring out how to keep cabin fever at bay. We might not be able to go out to our favorite restaurants, workout classes, museums or stores right now, but companies and people are coming together to bring all of these things directly to our homes! We've rounded up a list of great resources to keep boredom and anxiety at bay for the whole family.
Gyms, yoga studios, and all other workout facilities might be closed or closing, but getting a regular workout is good for both our physical and mental health. Luckily, some great fitness brands are stepping up and providing some free content to keep us sweating at home!
- CorePower Yoga has created a special collection called "Keep Up Your Practice" while their studios are closed, but this collection is free to everyone! Choose from several half-hour or hour-long yoga classes or a few short breathing exercises.
- Peloton has extended the free trial of their app to 90 days and you don't need one of their bikes or treadmills to benefit! The app offers a mix of classes for yoga, meditation, strength, cycling, running and more. Peloton sends out a notification three days before the end of the trial so that you can cancel before you get billed.
- Lulu Lemon has been creating fun content on their Instagram channel l including a LIVE yoga class and at-home training tips. Some of the content is still available on their feed, but a lot of it is done on LIVE so keep an eye on their social channels this week to see what content they might have!
- FitOn is a free app that offers a ton of free workouts that you can do at home. Once you download it, you put in some info about yourself, your workout goals and select some of your favorite types of workouts and it will generate a plan for you. You can also choose from a bunch of other workout options on the app.
Whether you're worried about getting sick or the economy or you're feeling stressed from being cooped up in the house with your family, it's important to create a little mental break for yourself. Here are a few options to try out:
- Headspace, a popular mindfulness and meditation app, has created a free "Weathering the Storm" collection of mediations, SOS sessions, at-home workouts and sleep sessions that anyone can access without a subscription to the app. If you try those out and find yourself looking for more, Headspace offers a free two-week trial that has more sessions to try out.
- Podcasts can be a great resource for mental health too. Right now, the Apple Podcasts app has a collection under its "Browse" section called "Cultivating Calm" while Spotify has a collection called "Mind Massage."
- Get outside and go for a walk! Currently, experts say you can still do that as long as you're staying away from crowded places and maintaining that recommended 6 feet of separation from other walkers, keep in mind that things are changing every day so it's always a good idea to check recent recommendations before going anywhere. Getting outside is good for our mental health, as is a little activity!
- Video calls are the perfect way to maintain our important social connections with friends and family during a time that we cannot see them. Apps such as Skype, Apple's Facetime, MarcoPolo, Facebook messenger and more make this super simple.
Since we now have more time on our hands than we're used to, it's a great opportunity to learn something new!
- BRIT + CO offers online classes for creative learning, such as watercolors or calligraphy, social media strategy for entrepreneurs and artists, and a few other topics. Through 4/9, they're offering all of their classes for free with the code SELFCARE. After the 9th, the content from the free classes that you've downloaded will no longer be available, so be sure to finish them up before then!
- Class Central has a list of around 500 free online classes offered from Ivy League universities, covering dozens of subjects from US civil war history to Shakespeare. And these are available all the time, not just as a one-time offer due to the pandemic.
- We just finished a collaboration with Gertens garden center and nursery a few weeks ago that gives you all of the basic information you need to get a garden started from seedlings indoors. As the weather starts to warm up, our backyards are going to become even more important to us than ever, so why not get a head start on creating a welcoming (and sustaining if you choose to grow vegetables and herbs) outdoor oasis to relax in this summer?
Without school, friends to hang out with and extracurricular activities to burn off energy, kids are bound to get bored around the house. The good news is, kids are creative and can make games out of anything AND there are a ton of great resources for them online.
- Scholastic has a "Learn at Home" section on its website to "keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!" They have something for PreK through 12th grade!
- Skype a Scientist is letting families in on their classroom fun. From their website, you can fill out a form and get matched with a scientist (it takes a few days) and then have a live Q & A session with them.
- Education.com has a ton of free printables and worksheets for PreK through 5th grade in subjects like fine arts, math, reading and writing, science and more!
- National Geographic Kids UK has a primary resources section on their website, just pick from one of their many topics and download the resources. Each topic has teacher support cues and info you can use to lead a "class" with your kids and the resources are written in the same tone as the magazine to make them engaging and accessible for kids.
- You may not be able to visit the zoo, but the Houston Zoo webcams can make you feel like you're there! Watch the giraffes, gorillas, elephants, rhinos and more from the couch.
- NASA has a STEM @ Home for students from Kindergarten through 4th grade with fun projects, worksheets, coloring sheets, and games.
If you've found any other fun at-home activities to keep everyone safe and sane during this time, let us know in the comments below!