The pandemic and resulting social distancing has created the strangest experience we have ever seen. As a Library, closing goes against everything we stand for. However, these are different times and require different actions to ensure the health and safety of our community.
This is a list of resources we can offer you. The list will be ongoing and shared daily on social media. They may not be best for everyone in every situation. But if you can, try a few of them out. If you have questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take a Deep Breath
No really, just try it! This is stressful and anxiety-producing for anyone. Stop and take a deep breath. And then maybe 10 more. Some ideas to keep this going include setting your phone to remind you, trying out meditation, and downloading a breath work app.
- Learn Something New
During the shelter in place, some people have a lot more time on their hands. This could be a great time to learn something new. The Library offers so many online possibilities to assist you in this goal. From Lynda.com where you can learn about excel, podcasting, crafting, and so much more to Mango Languages which offers 90+ online language courses. And of course, we have thousands and thousands of ebooks, magazines, audiobooks, movies, music, and tv shows available.
- Support Your Local Businesses
This is a tough time for our business community. Our wonderful Chamber of Commerce is consistently sharing ways to support the various business around time on their FB page. From getting take out to delivery food, buying gift certificates, or chipping in on crowdfunding pages. If you can’t help out financially right now, show support on social media.
- Be Neighborly
While this isn’t the time to hang out with neighbors, it is the time to show kindness and support to your community. This can be done by writing a note introducing yourself to your neighbor with your phone number; going shopping for vulnerable community members, putting a positive sign in your window, creating chalk art on the sidewalks, or just making eye contact and waving to people when you see them. Human contact is important right now.
- Get a Library Card
Don’t have a library card? Now is the right time to get one! The Library is offering you the chance to get a temporary virtual library card. This will give you free access to thousands of resources from online learning to movies to audiobooks to magazines. Go here to sign up.
- Donate to a Food Pantry or Little Free Pantry
Food insecurity is a major issue in the United States and this crisis is highlighting it even more. If you can, donate food or money to the Forest Park Food Bank, Beyond Hunger, or Feeding America. You can also drop food off at the Library’s Little Free Pantry or find another pantry in the area.
- Move Your Body
While it’s great to hang out on your sofa, it’s really important to get up and move. Whether that’s a walk, yoga, or something more intense, it is important to keep active to stay healthy. The Park District of Forest Park posted a very useful graphic about social distancing and public parks. Many of our local businesses are hosting online fitness classes including Village Pilates, Local Yoga, Core Strength Personal Training, John Hayley’s Unbreakable Fitness, and more. The Library also offers a number of streaming fitness workouts through Hoopla Digital.
- Do Activities as a Family
We compiled a list of family activities to do together for fun and learning. We have some great recommendations for activities that don’t involve a screen to suggested podcasts and much more. Check it out!
- Do a Digital Detox
Now that we are disconnected from the world in person, we are more reliant on our technology. But what if we put down our screens just for a little bit? It sounds scary but it can have tremendous benefits to your mental and physical health. Here’s an article from Very Well Mind speaking to the benefits of a Digital Detox. If you want to go more indepth check out Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism. Consider taking a small digital detox daily, just an hour a day can help. Try it out!
- Go Outside
Getting fresh air and possibly some sunshine is essential right now. If you are worried about social distancing outside, check out this useful graphic shared by the Park District of Forest Park. If you are a runner, check out Runner’s World guidelines for running outside safely. As long as you abide social distancing, it is safe and encouraged to go outside.
- Get Creative
Try making something. This sounds simple but the task of creating something with our hands is great for your mental health and can also be fun. From baking to chalk art to building with LEGO, there are so many ways to get creative. Don’t be concerned about the results. Just make something!
More ideas coming soon!