None of us would have opted into a pandemic quarantine of unknown duration (ugh!), but here we are…thanks COVID-19. What in the hell are we supposed to do while we’re all practicing social distancing and/or sheltering in place? My recommendation is to stay busy, friends. It helps keep the mind from wandering into dark, dangerous places that don’t benefit us.
I’m urging my community of artisans and makers to use this downtime strategically: taking care of our mental health, spending quality time with our loved ones, and taking advantage of this temporary acquire new business skills and tackle the seemingly never-ending “entrepreneur to-do list.”
FREE RESOURCES AND RELIEF DURING COVID-19
With the help of my community, Team Lucky Break has amassed a list of 100% free resources and relief to rely on during the Coronavirus outbreak. It’s been inspiring to see companies and organizations flip the switch and recommit their resources to supporting the community. Every day unleashes a new tsunami of options- here are our favorites right now…
FREE ONLINE LEARNING FOR ADULTS
- Brit & Co. is offering all of their classes free through March 31. Enjoy classes on cookie and cake decorating, watercolor painting, phone photography, hand lettering, Photoshop, Instagram strategy, chalk illustration, and more.
- Skillshare has an astounding library of digital classes on everything from crafting to photography to business skills and software programs. The first two months of membership is always free when you put a card on file (you can cancel at any time). They’ve announced two months of free access to their entire library for anyone with a .edu or. .k12 email address- no credit card needed. There are a limited number of free memberships being offered as well, based on need. Information can be found here.
- The Girlboss rally is taking things online this year. This spring, they’ll host a one-day virtual summit featuring female leaders speaking on money, work, and life. RSVP here for free access and to save your spot.
- Yoga to Cope is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide completely-free, online, yoga-based resources for people dealing with trauma, grief, and depression. And that’s like- all of us right now, yes?
- Eight Ivy League schools are offering free online classes. There are 450 (!) to choose from, and you can catch the full list here.
- Test Kitchen has graciously put 50 of their favorite recipes online at no charge so you can get cooking during the quarantine.
SMART ACTIVITIES TO KEEP KIDS BUSY
Don’t get me wrong: we love our kids. But what to do with them when they’re bored, anxious, and underfoot all day during COVID-19? These people have some really solid resources and relief suggestions for keeping kids busy and productive during the outbreak.
- Atlanta’s famed Center for Puppetry Arts has put their puppet shows, museum tours, and workshops online at no cost. There are several live puppet shows every day!
- Illustrator Mo Willems (the genius behind the much-beloved Pigeon Presents book series) is hosting free daily Doodle sessions at 1pm Eastern. You can catch all the past episodes, too.
- Scholastic is publishing four separate learning experiences every day, each built around a meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families. Just find your grade level and go!
- PBS (seriously, how much do we love PBS!?!) is offering a free daily newsletter with activities and tips ot help keep kids busy. You can subscribe here.
- SaveWithStories launched just a few days ago, but they’ve already amassed almost 50k followers! Celebrities are reading their favorite children’s stories live and it’s really, really fun.
- National Geographic Kids is a website full of always-free videos and activities. It’s ideal for elementary and middle school kiddos who love nature, animals, and travel.
- Lucky Break client Anna Abramzon is offering free kids art classes for our wee ones. Anna is incredibly talented and has a big heart to match! Classes will be broadcast live on her Facebook page.
- The Cincinnati Zoo is bringing the zoo to you! Seven days a week, they’re offering “Home safari’s” via their Facebook page beginning at 3pm every day. They’re highlighting a different animal every day and featuring chats with zookeepers, too!
- Made By Me Cooking School is a mom-run enterprise that typically offers local cooking classes in Rhode Island. Thanks to Coronavirus, they’ve taken things virtual and kid’s cooking classes are free on their Facebook page.
- Education.com has a robust library of printable worksheets and online games for preschool through 5K.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel that teaches mindfulness, yoga, and relaxation to kids aged 3 and up.
NO-COST MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Anyone who typically suffers from anxiety and depression is on high-alert right now. And even the most grounded, mentally healthy among us are having their boat rocked in epic fashion If you’re fighting to stay positive, these resources should provide some relief.
- The Calm app has put together a suite of stretching videos, guided meditations, soundscapes, and other relaxation tools to keep anxiety at bay. Access all the goodness right here.
- Jay Shetty is hosting “20 Days of Live Meditation with Jay.” He’s going live for 20 minutes daily for 20 days beginning March 20. Details can be found here.
- Jack Kornfield and Tara Branch are offering a free half-day retreat. “Creating a Home Retreat: Finding Freedom Wherever You Are” is ideal for those who are feeling stress or anxiety or anyone who wants to practice mindfulness at home now that we’re on lockdown for the foreseeable future.
- Stationery Goddess Emily McDowell is hosting a free, virtual creative self-care get-together called Together Apart with Flora Bowley. To join them live on Thursday, March 19th, from 10 am – 11:30 am PST, you can register right here. If you miss the live event, you can watch the recorded version anytime.
- Ten Percent Happier has published a Coronavirus Sanity Guide loaded with talks and guided meditations to soothe anxiety during this challenging time. They also recorded a podcast on the subject, too.
- Down Dog Apps is the creator of several popular fitness services for iPhone and iPad, including apps for Yoga, HIIT, and more. To help people stay active and engaged during the coronavirus outbreak, Down Dog is making all of its apps available for free through April 1.
I also published a blog earlier this week with my best tips for protecting mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak.
WHAT DID WE MISS?
I’d love to continue building this list as a community initiative. Please add your favorite free resources as a comment. We’ll get through this… together!