Virtually Thriving

The new reality that many of us are facing today includes finding new ways to adapt to living our social and professional lives from home. For the time being, we can make the most of the situation by immersing ourselves in the various educational and entertainment resources available at our fingertips. Fortunately, many of these resources are now free for the public to access and enjoy while practicing safe social distancing.

We encourage you to share your creative tips for navigating these weeks from home with your community. We are in this together, Chatham County!

Virtual Field Trips:

Schools may be closed, but the learning continues outside of the classroom. From zoos, to museums, to outer space, the confines of your home do not limit you in exploring the world around you! Every weekday at 3 p.m., join the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Facebook to meet a different animal each day. Safari tours will also be uploaded on YouTube to access at all hours of the day. Spend an afternoon on the West Coast meeting the many animals at the San Diego Zoo with any of their live cameras. Visit the koalas one day and the apes the next!

Historical sites are among the many popular attractions providing free online tours to the public. Have you ever visited the White House, Buckingham Palace, the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal? Today, you can!

The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History is offering a plethora of free virtual tours of their permanent, current and past exhibits. Self-guided, room-by-room tours are available for visitors to explore various sections of the museum at their leisure. Additional free museum tours include the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and The Louvre.

Educational Classes:

Some of the top colleges and universities in the nation are posting free educational courses for those looking to further their learning in social isolation. With all of the additional hours you will be spending in the virtual realm, it could be time to enhance your technology skills. Take a seat, grab your pencil and enroll in Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science or Programming for the Web with JavaScript through the University of Pennsylvania.

Maybe you’d like to brush up on your knowledge of the human mind. If that’s the case, listen in on Introduction to Psychology from Yale University or The Science of Happiness from Berkeley University. We could all use some extra happiness in our lives right about now, if you ask me.

Is it possible to become a professional chef in a couple of weeks? Maybe not, but you can get a headstart! New York Times Cooking is opening their recipe database for 30 days. Learn to make thousands of recipes for free! Or join Food Network’s Michael Symon as he teaches how to turn common ingredients found in your pantry into gourmet meals.

Health & Wellness:

Maintain your mental health by prioritizing your physical health. Turn any space into a gym, even your living room. Keeping regular exercise as a part of your daily schedule can be a true mood booster. If you don’t believe us, try any one of these classes for free! CorePower Yoga is releasing a new collection of online classes every week, including yoga sculpt, balance and strength classes.

While these videos are free all year-round, you can start putting them to good use right now. Fitness Blender offers workout videos for every fitness level. Select the amount of time you would like to work out, any equipment you may have, your preferred level of difficulty or the areas of your body you would like to primarily focus on.

Nike Training Club has waived their monthly fee for their premium service for anyone who would like to challenge themselves to work out in new ways. Try the Breakthrough Challenge for 20 workouts in 28 days. You can do it! Or as Nike would say, just do it!

Read a Book:

While it is both easy and mindless to plant yourself on the couch and find yourself twelve 12 episodes deep in a television series in the course of a day, switch it up! The Internet Archive is a digital library of millions of free books, movies and music right at your fingertips. Take your ebook and indulge on a park bench. Let literature take you anywhere in the world!

Apple Books also has a great collection of free online books for every type of reader. You can easily access and download content from any of your Apple devices. Disconnect for a moment and simply read.

However you spend the next couple of weeks, prioritize your mental and physical wellbeing by connecting with friends, your community and the expansive world around us.