Resources for your physical, mental, and social health

Hi everyone. We sincerely hope you are all doing well. Every day that passes sees previously unimaginable and unfathomable crises become our new reality, and every day we all must adjust—physically, yes, with our social distancing and (for many of us) our inability to work, but also mentally and emotionally.

Last week we had quickly compiled an early list of resources in addition to the emergency relief work Springboard for the Arts was already doing (and continues to do). We have more of that coming as more funds and resources become available and, in turn, we become aware of them. Stay tuned for additional updates by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.

We have more in the works in terms of ways to see and connect with other artists and their work, free opportunities for education and enrichment, as well as some more light-hearted outlets for entertainment, all available through online media like live streaming and virtual tours. But this week, we are focused on your physical, mental, and social health. Below you will find a number of different web-based platforms you can access for free in order to stay well and stay connected during this time of fear, anxiety, and confusion.

And please, if there are other stories you would like to see us covering during this time or other ways you think we could be using Creative Exchange as a platform for resource-sharing, artist support, or inspiration, please take this survey and tell us about it or email us.

Physical Health

For your physical health, especially at a time when it is more difficult to do the things you might normally do to stay healthy and physically active, there are a number of different apps you can download for workout and yoga routines, many offering their content for free right now or with a free trial period.

Here is a list of apps for HIIT, pilates, yoga, and other forms of cardio and strength training. And here is another. Fitness app Variis has a number of different workout and yoga routines available on IG TV and has been continually adding more. Do Yoga With Me also offers free yoga videos online.

And here is a robust list of fitness live streams and virtual classes, most of which are free to access. And a few more for good measure.

The Motor City Dance Academy is hosting online dance classes through Google Hangouts.

Also check out these tips on how to stay in shape at home.

When all else fails, you can still go for a run or walk in your neighborhood with proper social distancing observed. As you will find, many of the above and below linked articles suggest getting outside as an excellent way to stay active as well as an excellent way to decompress.

Mental Health

This is an extraordinarily difficult, unprecedented, and frankly unimaginable time for everyone, and the global public health and economic crisis we are currently experiencing may just be eclipsed by the mental health crisis looming as a result. Please heed the advice of professional therapists on how to best get through today and the days to come. Try “detoxing your thoughts,” setting a limit to your daily news exposure and social media use, and also take a look at these lighter tips for self-care during quarantine.

If you currently see a therapist and are able to continue to do so, ask about setting up Skype sessions in lieu of meeting in-person (especially if you reside in a city that hasn’t yet instated a total lockdown). If you need to speak with someone but are unable to pay for therapy sessions, take the time to look through this list of free counseling resources available online, or call SAMHSA’s National Help line.

Also try downloading these free mental health apps to calm your body and mind.

For those in recovery, many anonymous groups have taken their meetings online. Check in with your local organization to see what they are now offering in lieu of in-person meetings, and take advantage of them—now more than ever you may find yourselves in need of this lifeline.

Whether you already practice meditation or not, you may find it helpful to do so right now. This five-minute guided breathing meditation is a great place to start, and there are scores more guided meditation videos available on YouTube. Here is a guide to free meditation apps you can download on your phone. You can also attend a global meditation event hosted by The Well and Deepak Chopra on Saturday, March 29.

You may also want to consider fostering or adopting a pet during this time (in fact, so many people are that shelters are emptying…a small point of light during this otherwise dark time).

With many cities are on orders of shelter-in-place and many people choosing to self-quarantine, many people might be finding themselves going a bit stir-crazy. Here are some tips to make staying at home a little more fun.

Social Health

Perhaps one of the hardest things for many people right now is accepting that during a time when we might want to be with other people the most, that is the worst thing we can do. It’s important to maintain social connections right now, even if that connectivity can only happen online.

You can join a virtual cocktail hour with the Shady Ladies Literary Society that includes a cocktail lesson with a renowned mixologist as well as an informative talk with a professional in public policy and economics.

You can also host a virtual happy hour or party of your own, and it can be for anything—dinner parties where everyone eats together, recipe challenges where everyone cooks together, or anything else you can think of.

There are plenty of ways to connect socially without drinking. Use the app House Party to see and connect with your friends, or organize an event on Zoom (which is being used for a host of online activities now, from work conferencing and remote education to art events).

For our LGBTQIA+ readers, here is a great compilation of queer events you can live stream.

And there are other ways to connect socially that are not through virtual parties. You can also connect through the activities you might be doing at home anyway. If you’re a gamer (video games, card games, board games, bored games), download one of these multiplayer apps to host a virtual game night. Watching a lot of Netflix? (Yes.) Watch whatever show you’re bingeing with your friends via Netflix Party.

Now might even be a great time to expand your social circle by finding a new pen pal from anywhere around the world. As the whole global population must come to terms with our new reality, you may find it helpful to engage with someone from another country, hear their stories and share your own.

Do for Others

One of the most helpful things you can do during a time of great helplessness is something for your neighbors in need. Here are 31 small things you can do for others right now.

Many, many local and national organizations are currently galvanizing to provide personal protective equipment to the healthcare workers on the front lines since our leaders have failed to do so. Check out this tutorial video by Deviate Fashion on how to make your own face masks that you can donate to healthcare professionals in need in your area.

Take care of yourself. Take care of your loved ones. We will do our best to keep useful information coming to you during this time, and please let us know what else you think might be helpful. And if you are hosting live-streamed events or activities to facilitate community connection, drop us a line and let us know.

Lead image: The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Photo by Michael Barera