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Making The Most Of being at home During COVID-19

Diana Skok Corridori

Contributor

No one can deny that it isn’t easy being confined to your house. But during this period, it is something we must all adhere to for the good of society. Why not take advantage of this unexpected time at home to do some of the things you have been wanting to do but never find the right moment? Fun things like playing Monopoly with your kids, planting a spring garden or cooking a fabulous Sunday lunch.

Cooking

Eating out has been put on hold, so everyone is forced to face the kitchen. For some, this period is a welcome moment to have more time to cook, for others it might be the first time to truly cook on a regular basis. Get some inspiration for menus and recipes from these great virtual resources.

MasterClass has the world’s most accomplished instructors in their field who teach online course. Examples include Annie Leibovitz teaching photography and Martin Scorsese discussing film making. For the culinary arts, there are a variety of choices from Gabriela Cámara and Mexican cuisine to the American chef and writer Thomas Keller to Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay’s first class proved so popular, that there is now a part two. Classes are not just recipes but include aspects of cooking like kitchen layout and knife skills.

For those who have a sweet tooth, then check out CakeFlix. Learn how to make those fancy cakes you see on the Food Network with recipes that range from easy to more challenging. There are over 1,000 courses and almost 8,000 cake video lessons. But this site is not just about video tutorials, there is also a private learning section as well as community sharing.

For old school, authentic Italian cooking, head over to the YouTube channel, Pasta Grannies. Here Italian nonne will explain exactly how to prepare various pasta dishes in Italian with English subtitles.

Gardening

It’s spring! It’s the perfect time to plant colourful blossoms and start a garden. Not sure where to begin? Plan-A-Garden to the rescue! This app lets you play around with various design plans for anything from a patio garden to landscaping an entire back yard. The "drag-and-drop" feature allows you to see how all the elements of the garden will work together.

House & Garden is a great resource for planting and growing just about everything. Find inspiration and new ideas on their site as well as helpful “how-tos.”


Spending time with family

Now that the whole family is together – all day – what are some ideas on how to manage that? Of course, there are the classics like playing cards or Monopoly. That might seem like a given, but when was the last time you actually took Monopoly out of the closet? It is more fun than you remember.

During work hours, trying to limit kids’ screentime can be a challenge, but here is a site that is a bit more engaging than that game on the iPad. Storyline Online is a children’s literary site created by the SAG Foundation and provides free storytelling videos narrated by SAG members such as Oprah and Kevin Costner.

Get fit

With gyms closed and the implementation of social distancing, incorporating exercise into your daily routine may have become a bit more challenging. Luckily there are several at-home workout resources available to help you maintain your fitness goals.

CorePower Yoga ups the intensity factor for a “more powerful, purposeful workout” focusing on strength and pushing past physical boundaries. They are currently offering daily free streaming courses for nonmembers, and existing members will have unlimited access to their on-demand videos.

P.volve is a strengthening program that offers total-body fitness plans. They have hundreds of workouts and if you are pressed for time, provide 15-20 minute workouts on Instagram Live.

Fhitting Room is offering a virtual HIIT workout with two-way communication that allows users to interact with the trainers and the community in real-time. They also offer private classes for groups who want to work out together, while they are apart.

Get Zen

Keeping in physical shape is important during this time of self-isolation, but mental health is particularly important because we are social beings and staying alone can be a struggle. Here are some suggestions on self-guided meditation programs available.

Insight Timer has a library of over 30,000 timed and guided meditations focusing on sleep, anxiety and stress. There is currently a 30-day free trial.

Calm is a mindfulness app that has extensive information on meeting “this moment together.” They have soothing sounds of nature and relaxing music you can play from your desktop to help ease anxiety. 

Learn a new language

Perhaps your trip to Paris has been postponed, that is not fun, but the upside is now you will have more time to learn a bit of French before your trip. Check out these helpful sites and apps to help you achieve your language goals from the basics to fluency.

Italki has a huge number of worldwide language tutors that you can connect with for any language need via Skype. Whether you are looking to brush up on your Spanish conversational skills or starting from scratch, there is every imaginable option for learning on this site.

Mango is similar to the more well-known apps like Babbel and Duolingo, but it has a game-like design and a fun cultural section for those who are looking for a true immersion experience.

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