Learn Something New

Don’t get caught in a rut while you’re at home, check out these FREE activities!

I am an outdoors person, I am super social, and I love to get-together with my friends, so this high level of isolation because of restrictions from the COVID-19 situation is particularly difficult. But we all have to do our part to flatten the curve, so never fear my friends, we have some great ideas to share with you!

Take a Virtual Museum Tour
You can visit some of the most famous museums in the world right from your computer. Each one functions differently, some doing 360 degree tours, while others have online exhibits. If you love museums, this is a great activity to learn more about history and art. Check out the links in this article.

See 15 Favorite Street Views from Google Maps
Of the 170 billion street view images that Google has collected, they have accumulated 15 of their favorites. They transport people to amazing places, foster cultural awareness, encourage conservation and make our planet more accessible to all. Take a look and enjoy. Google’s 15 Favorite Street Views

Try Yoga for FREE
If you have never tried Yoga before, this could be the perfect time to give it a chance. It helps with stress, relaxation, sleep, flexibility and strength. The company Down Dog is offering FREE access to all of their programs until May 1 for most of us and until July 1 for healthcare workers, teachers and students. Try beginning yoga for 15 minutes and expand your practice as you get more comfortable. You will have to create a login to take advantage. Check out Down Dog. If you don’t want to have to login, you can go to YouTube and try out Yoga by Adrienne. There are other companies offering free online classes too so you just have to find your favorite!

Download Books

From the Library
If you have never used an eReader or only read when you have a book in your hand, now may be the perfect time to try out online books. Most local libraries will rent digital books and audiobooks for free with your library card. I will admit it is not always intuitive to download a book to read on your phone or tablet, but I encourage you to give it a try. Overdrive, which is one of the largest library lenders, has extended the number of books you can loan at one time from three to ten. Each e-book is lent for three weeks, giving you plenty of time to finish the book. Go to your local library website to see if they offer free ebook checkout.

From Audible
The Amazon company, Audible, is offering hundreds of their audiobooks to the public for free, saying that “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open.” The free books range from preschool-friendly to adult titles. All available titles can be accessed via desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet at stories.audible.com

Learn Something New
LinkedIn Learning provides high quality training content on a huge variety of topics. If you want to learn more about technology, let’s say Microsoft Excel, you can search for “Excel” and go through any number of video-based classes. If you’re affiliated with a college, many offer LinkedIn Learning (formerly called Lynda) for free. But LinkedIn does offer LinkedIn Learning for Free for the first 30-days. So while you’re at home, maybe learn about a new technology, effective presentation skills or even how to write a book. Check out LinkedIn Learning here.

Visit Virtually with Friends
Social distancing does not mean you can’t distant socialize and video calls are a fun way to do that. You can create your own free Zoom account to have video-based “meetings” with others. The free account has a 40-minute time limit on meetings with 3 or more participants. Set up a time for a virtual coffee with friends, send them the link to your “meeting” and then start at the allotted time. Use your computer to see friends and have a nice chat. You can use this for long distance friendships or to visit with neighbors right next door. I know technology is scary for some people, but this is a great time to give it a try. Sign up to host a Zoom Meeting. Other free options include Facetime for iPhone users; Google Hangouts for Android users; or video call directly from Facebook Messenger.

Try an Online Cooking Class
Many restaurants are temporarily closed meaning many chefs are now restless. That’s why there has been an influx of free cooking classes on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Challenge yourself to try new recipes. For example, Chef Eva Kronenburg is posting almost daily on her You Tube Channel. The article attached includes links to a number of chef’s offering FREE online cooking classes. Martha Stewart’s Cooking School is a PBS program that offers cooking classes. You can watch her videos online.

Take a Walk
There is nothing like a long walk to make you feel energized. It’s absolutely free and perfect for alleviating that itch you might get to escape the walls of your home. So lace up those sneakers, put a leash on your dog, put the baby in the stroller and go for that rejuvenating walk around your neighborhood! Just remember to keep six feet apart so we can all get back to our regular routine!

We know not everyone is at home right now, so maybe you can enjoy some of these ideas during your downtime. We hope you find inspiration in these links and wish all of you a delightful new experience!