By: Linnea Sieh, MA, LPC
Although we are all inside, potentially anxiously awaiting a return to normal life, one of the coolest things that’s come from all of this has been the abundance of resources that are being offered to help alleviate stress and boredom. Keeping your mind occupied during stressful times is one of the best things you can do to help your mental health. Resting counts as one of the important things, by the way, and is important to keep you mentally healthy.
If you’re looking for something interesting to do, or your kids are bouncing off the walls, here are some fun things to check out that might give you some extra joy in your day.
For you history buffs out there, there are some museums offering virtual tours. The Smithsonian Natural History Museum has virtually opened its doors for visitors.
The Museum of Modern Art also has a tour, if art is more your thing.
You can also find coloring pages of artwork from some major museums.
If you missed a family trip hiking or camping this year, take a look at this virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park. https://www.nps.gov/yell/
Or, if you’re dreaming of a garden that you don’t have to weed, check out these garden tours from House Beautiful magazine.
Now would be the perfect time to plan a garden too, if you have the space and time. Gardening, as well as being outside, has been shown to be effective in boosting mood. There is also a sense of pride and accomplishment when your garden starts coming to life.
If animals make your heart sing, you’re in luck! There are several zoos and aquariums that offer live webcams in different animal exhibits. The Detroit Zoo offers an Otter Cam and a Penguin Cam!
The Georgia Aquarium (the largest Aquarium in the country) has some live feeds as well. Watching sea life can be very relaxing and calming.
The National Aquarium has several live cams as well.
If your kids need a few extra things to do, here’s some more fun ideas for them.
#OperationStoryTime: authors reading their stories to kids. You can search the hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
My favorite is Storytime From Space, which is when astronauts from the International Space Station read kids’ books from outer space! How cool is that? You can find more information here:
Another awesome space themed idea is this cool collaboration that lets you explore Mars. Talk about a getaway! https://accessmars.withgoogle.
Also available are some exercise and movement resources, for when you just need to move! This website, Dancing Alone Together, helps you search for virtual dance classes.
You can find a lot of videos on YouTube for free. One really good yoga program is called “Yoga With Adrienne.” For kids, “Cosmic Kids Yoga” is full of imaginative yoga stories for younger kids.
If you are missing the thrill of roller coasters, you can also virtually ride some of the Disneyland rides! Set up a couch coaster station and you’ll be ready to ride!
Of course, walking outside is still free and open. You could try a nature scavenger hunt, play I Spy, or take a pet for an extra long walk. Reach out via text, phone, or video chat to friends and family. Be creative with ideas on how to reach out. Have a virtual picnic in your backyard, or a distance movie watching party.
If you find yourself needing a little extra help managing mental health concerns at this time, reach out to your mental health care provider or the local crisis line. In Macomb County that number is 586-307-9100.
Give yourself and others the benefit of compassion in this challenging time. We at ATPWC are here, offering telehealth sessions, encouragement, and healing during this worldwide crisis. You are not alone! Please call us today at 586-213-5505 or email adminteam@allthingspossiblewc.