One of the simplest and most important ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is to practice social distancing and staying home is quickly becoming the new normal. As we all do our part to flatten the curve, lower transmission rates and keep our communities safe, we’re finding ways to adapt.
Here’s a round-up of online resources to help you stay healthy, happy and inspired during these strange times.
Music: SoundCloud: Hear the world’s sounds via this online audio distribution platform and music sharing website based in Berlin, which enables its users to upload, promote, and share audio. Soundcloud offers both free and paid membership on the platform so you can choose your level of commitment. Artists on the platform are able to distribute their work for free, to be accessed by all users. Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music and audio on the planet, without leaving the house.
Spotify: Offering “music for everyone”, this digital music service gives you access to millions of songs, videos and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements, while additional features, such as offline listening and commercial-free playlists, are available if you pay a subscription. Its recently launched Spotify Covid-19 Music Relief initiative brings together a number of organisations offering financial relief to creators around the world. You can help out by streaming their music.
NPR: This online artist community was made to celebrate and showcase music from around the world via live streams and videos. It connects with millions of people to explore the news, ideas, and what it means to be human. If you’re craving an intimate video performance, get your fix here–safely at home.
Audiobooks – While we’re stuck inside, there’s no better time to go on an imaginary adventure. Audible is offering hundreds of audiobooks available for free, including the first Harry Potter book as read by English national treasure and spectacular voice actor, Stephen Fry. It’s free to register an account right now and even though most of the free selections on Audible are aimed at kids, there’s also a solid stable of classic literature. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.
International podcasts – Travelling is off the table right now, but you can still listen to stories from all over the world while you’re social distancing at home. Podcasts are popular because they’re so perfect for fitting into daily lives. It’s information and entertainment, in bite-size chunks, right at your fingertips and direct to your ears. You can find a podcast dedicated to any topic you’re interested in, but why not check out something travel-themed for future inspiration? We’ve got a couple of recommendations:
The Food Chain: From the BBC, this podcast examines the business, science and cultural significance of food from all over the world, and what it takes to put meals on your plate.
Field Recording: This aural treat is created by audio-makers, who stand silently in fields (or things that could be broadly interpreted as fields), to bring you soundscapes from places you might be missing, or places you’d never otherwise hear.
Zero to Travel: This one is packed with inspiration and advice for everyone from travel newbies to nomads.
Armchair Explorer: A documentary-style podcast complete with music and cinematic effects that creates an immersive storytelling experience.
Google Arts and Culture is a digital platform that gives you access to high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts. Google has teamed up with loads of organisations, collections and galleries to give you the chance to go on unforgettable virtual tours, many of which include views or details you might not even get in real life. Here are a few examples:
The Hidden Worlds of The National Parks: Venture into five of USA’s most beautiful national parks on virtual, interactive, 360-degree tours, complete with directional audio and led by real park rangers.
Color Explorer: Take in classic artworks from a different point of view. Color Explorer presents masterpieces categorised by hue. Just click on a shade you’re feeling today and discover glorious works of art.
Alternatively, if you’d rather be out and about, check out 12 Banksy Murals You Can See on Street View.
Local Film: Get your classic Thai movie fix with this playlist, curated especially for quarantine and complete with English subtitles. Fun fact: one of these movies is Thailand’s first animated film, “Amazing Incidents”, made by Payut Ngaokrachang and first screened with live dubbing on 5 July 1955 at Sala Chalermthai in Bangkok. Definitely one to check out. We know: even though it’s necessary, social isolation can be lonely. Our top tip to maximise together time is to synchronise movie watching with family or friends and keep a video or text chat open while you’re watching.
This new normal requires some creative thinking about your psychological well-being. With many of us forced to work remotely, feeling stuck or isolated, and with reduced options for regular physical exercise and social activities, we’ve got to get creative about staying healthy in mind and body. Here are some resources:
Sound Bath: Reduce stress and create calm at home. Meditation is a great practice to incorporate into your regular routine to reduce anxiety, and sound healing can enhance those effects. Get in touch with Jaanhealing for sound baths or socially distant reiki.
Yoga: Get FREE live classes with Lena, a certified hatha and vinyasa yoga instructor. Join her members-only Facebook group for the MOVE-BREATH-ALIGN Tribe program if you’re looking to connect to a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to sharing good vibes.
Guided Self Healing: Join Cat Lau to become connect with your emotions in this workshop. Because our bodies hold onto feelings, it’s important to process them as they arise. Check her page out if you would like to take your healing to the next level; 20% of the proceeds go to Covid Relief Bangkok.
This downtime could be a chance to learn, grow, and connect with learners and educators around the world. And there are loads of free courses available. Here are some places to get started:
Coursera Together: Offering free online learning and community resources during COVID-19, from mental health and well-being to career development. Besides free resources and interesting course collections there are community discussions and expert interviews and it’s all available until 31 July 2020.
Learning at edX: Founded by scientists from MIT and Harvard, edX is a massive open online directory with access to 2,000 free online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide. Gain new skills and earn a certificate of completion in whatever you’re interested in.
Open culture: Browse 1,500 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy-to-browse categories covering everything you want, from history, philosophy and literature, to physics, biology, psychology, and computer science.
Tribe: Stay fit at home with free classes delivered by the Tribe trainers via Facebook Live. There’s everything from shadow boxing and pilates to barre and stretching (also available in Facebook archive). If you’re craving a spin fix, they’ll set up a bike in your home with Tribe-to-Go, and connect you to the intense rides you’ve been missing, led by the instructors you love, streamed live. If you miss the live timings, don’t sweat—archived classes can be accessed on their channel all day, every day. Find more info on Instagram.
Base: Right now this gym offers free live online HIIT sessions and strength-based workouts on Facebook and Instagram every Saturday at 10.00 am. A paid program called BASE Anywhere offers 16 Zoom workouts. Inbox them for more details.
Let’s try our best to make the most of this time. Let’s learn, grow, relax and most of all, stay safe and take care of one another. We’ll get through it and we’ll be stronger on the other side.
Credits: Audible SoundCloud Spotify NPR Google Arts and Culture Film Archive Coursera edX Open Culture Jaanhealing Lena Boon Yoga Catlauhealing Tribe Base The Lab