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Free resources to keep you entertained at home (Part 1)

By Vanessa Racine, social medias coordinator

Despite the stunning fall colours, the arrival of cool temperatures and early nights may have you feeling blue this season. We would normally be able to get together with friends and family for some extra cheer, but as we all know, physical distancing is required to limit the spread of COVID-19.

A cat sitting in front of an open laptopWith many of us at home this season, here are some suggestions for (free!) activities to keep you entertained:

Creative recipes to make and share (on social media)

Now is a great time to learn new cuisines, recipes – especially from the best! Professional chefs are turning to online to share their recipes and cooking tips. Don’t miss out on this chance to learn from the professionals directly from them:
  • Author of Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine With Authentic Recipes to Make at Home and host of TV series ‘One World Kitchen’ on Gusto TV, Vancouver chef Pailin Chongchitnant has a YouTube channel featuring her cooking show Hot Thai Kitchen. Follow her there to learn how to make a variety of Thai cuisine from Pad Makeua Yao, an eggplant stir fry with Thai basil served with rice, to Pa Tong Go, yummy Chinese donuts. She posts a new video every Friday.
  • Learn from the master if you’re going to attempt making sushi at home. Tojo Hidezaku of British Columbia’s Tojo’s Restaurant appears on Instagram live regularly with video tutorials for everything from temaki (cone-shaped rolls) to noodle dishes.
  • For a sweet treat, founder and CEO of the world-renowned Milk Bar, known for remixes of classic childhood treats often featured on Netflix, has created a virtual baking club. Christina Tosi hosts a live baking club everyday at 2 p.m. on her Instagram page.
  • In Toronto, Chef Tomer Markovitz put his plans of opening his own restaurant on hold during the pandemic, but, instead, put his cooking online. Markovitz posts his cooking demonstrations on his Instagram stories, saving them to his highlights so you can follow along anytime. He cooks with ingredients he has already in him home, but his creativity knows no bounds so be sure to check him out.
  • Master Chef Canada winner, and author of Kitchen Party cookbook, Mary Berg has taken the time during the pandemic to share her at-home recipes online. Watch her pantry recipes on her Instagram or catch her CTV cooking show, Mary’s Kitchen Crush.

Meditation and yoga sessions to recentre yourself

  • Meditation For Mental Balance and Grounding | Yoga With Adriene – In this 17-minute guided meditation, Adriene, and her dog Benji, helps you to welcome balance and clarity to your mental and emotional self; Adriene advises to practice regularly to connect brain to body for mental health and optimal physical wellbeing.
  • Simple Mindfulness Activities Kids (And Parents!) Can Start Right Now - author Dyan Robson provides mindful exercises and activities parents can do with kids. Not only does it reinforce mindfulness for life skills but she provides guidance on mindful breathing and activities like noticing games to enhance your child’s mental wellbeing.
  • Figuring out how to meditate can be difficult. Meditation apps, music, and podcasts can help you figure out the meditation techniques that work best for you. However, Psycom, a mental health resource since 1996, has put together its own list of Top 25 Best Meditation Resources: Guided Meditation, Meditation Music, and Meditation Apps.
  • Get back to your roots with colouring, but with great classics – or give your kids some engaging templates to use! In #ColorOurCollections, you can explore, colour and connect with dozens of libraries’ collections in this collaborative project by the New York Academy of Medicine. Get started now to join the vast array of artistic collections.

Feel-good podcasts

  • For a smile, listen to Stuff You Should Know. Hosts Josh and Chuck tackle a new subject weekly, telling you everything that you could possibly want to know about it. You name a subject, and they've likely covered it already—and if not, stay tuned, because they most likely will!
  • For a laugh, listen to Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids podcast to hear just what the title describes: courageous adults share their childhood and teenage writing — embarrassing diary entries, angsty poetry, bizarre short stories, and more.
  • Listen to recent episode of The Amber Mac Show podcast for a healthy discussion with two leading self-care experts. Amy Morin, a bestselling author on mental strength, discusses her self-care path and what not to do along the way; along with certified emotional intelligence and neuro-life coach Karlyn Percil, who shares why self-care isn’t selfish, and how our online and offline friends play a critical role in our success.

More resources for at-home entertainment:

Back in March, we compiled a list of resources to keep you entertained at home - something for the performing arts fans, visual arts fans, family-friendly activities from virtual field trips to digital visits to museums, there is a link for you: Please visit our COVID-19 resource page for the most current information about Red Cross programs, support, and tips.

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