During this time of instructional continuity, be sure to take care of yourselves. Please enjoy these just-for-fun things to help you take a brain-break whenever you need one! Here are some virtual stress relief activities and distractions curated just for you by your reference librarians.
What's more soothing than your favorite celebrity reading you a children's book?
"My almost 2 year old won't accept that it's bedtime until we've read at least 3 stories. When you’re going through a hard time, a story can help lift your spirits. Whether you're at home wrangling kids or not, we’re all kids at heart, so let these children’s books read by celebrities ease your troubled mind."
Jen Krombach recommends:
Anne Guha recommends some cute animal therapy. It's a thing!
"'Cute/Baby Animal Therapy' is something that can help when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Some also believe it improves focus. Certainly there are countless social media streams where you can get your daily (hourly?) fix, but did you know that DC's own National Zoo has several animal cams that you can check out? They are currently running cams for their lion, panda, and elephant exhibits, among others. (You can find live cam feeds at other zoos as well, including the Maryland Zoo and the San Diego Zoo.)"
Missing the reading room? Savanna Nolan recommends study ambience YouTube videos.
"Sometimes we all wish we could be working peacefully far far away . . . but have to make do with our headphones and living rooms."
Savanna's Favorite White Noise YouTube Videos:
Itunu Sofidiya recommends meditation:
"I use meditation in the mornings in order to put me in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. As adults, it is easy to believe that we don't have any extra time to carve out for ourselves. But I have found that spending 15 to 30 minutes a day meditating helps me to cope with any stresses that may occur. Here are a few tools that I go to that assist me with my meditation."
Websites & Apps:
Cattleya Concepcion recommends these coloring pages of DC landmarks:
"I’m teleworking with a toddler, so I spend a lot of my time coloring—to entertain my daughter and to turn off my brain for a bit. DC-themed coloring pages have been a nice change from my regular regimen of Sesame Street coloring books. My favorite is a local artist’s illustration of the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station, a familiar sight along my commute to the law library. I look forward to when I can see it in person again."
Some others to check out:
Rachel Jorgensen recommends joining in free virtual workouts and logging your fitness with the Scott K. Ginsburg Sport & Fitness Center. The gym has posted a daily class schedule. If the gym's class schedule doesn't fit your schedule, the gym also offers classes on demand led by a virtual instructor (see embedded link in the daily class schedule).
"Yoga is the perfect antidote to the passive stress your body is put under when you sit all day on the computer. And Wendy, who teaches the gentle yoga sessions, is an incredible teacher; her instructions are clear and she always exudes a sense of calmness and connection."
Dan Donahue recommends the Kennedy Center's free couch concerts, which you can stream live on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Also check out Kennedy Center @ Home for live and on-demand performances and educational activities to do at home.
"The Kennedy Center Couch Concerts give visitors entertainment and a part in the DC performing arts community. In addition to an ongoing series of live performances, archived recordings of performances from this and other programs can be accessed from their site."