Some Non-Virus Resources

Oh man, this is... something. I found out in the middle of the day on yesterday that our district was closing for three weeks, one of which being spring break. So, now I'm home with my kindergardener and husband for at least 23 days (and you never know what's going to happen after...). For the past two or three weeks I have been slowly stocking up on supplies and preparing in general- people I admitted this to thought I was crazy, but I am a planner and I was trusting my gut as I saw things happen abroad. I really had a few days where I got really, really anxious (internally), and that's when I started taking steps to make sure I could take care of my family. I didn't go crazy buying toilet paper, but every time I was at Target or the grocery store I grabbed something- an extra bottle of Advil, some backup contact solution, more granola bars, etc... This isn't to say I feel okay about our ENTIRE WAY OF LIFE CHANGING, because I don't, but I do feel better than before. I've been thinking about ways to stay more focused, calm, centered, and productive* during this time off and plan on sharing a lot of it here, along with lots of other posts about reading and whatnot, since god knows I'll have plenty of time. 

Headspace App- I have never been into meditating, even though I love yoga, but like two months ago I was going through some personal things and coincidentally saw that this app is FREE for teachers! I've heard conflicting information about whether it's just for a year, or forever, but still it's a great deal. I primarily use it at night, to help wind down to sleep, but there are so many options for anxiety, anger, productivity, loneliness, happiness, etc... You can decide on the length of many and the narrator's voice too. 

Forest App- I have been a HUGE fan of this app for years (I think it's a few dollars)- it forces me to take breaks from my phone. I don't consider myself addicted to my device, but there are definitely times where I am guilty of wasting time on it, or allowing it to distract me from grading or whatever. Right now I have found it incredibly useful when it come to distancing myself from reading the news sites too often. Setting the app to grow a thirty-minute tree forces me to stop getting updates and find something better to do with my time. 

Down Dog Yoga- I subscribe to the premium service for I think $7.99 a month, which is a fraction of the cost of even a yoga class, let alone belonging to a studio. They have tons of free features, though, and I think they've expanded the options through the month of April to help people be active at home. 

Serial Reader App- If you've meant to read more classics this app is for you (there's a free version and one that cost a few dollars if you want to get your installments ahead of time). Every day they'll give you another chunk of an Austen novel or Dostoyevsky or whomever that helps reading these "I meant to" books easier. 

Scholastic Learn At Home- I haven't started using this yet, but it's a free system that helps parents deliver content to their kids at home. It looks like there will be 25 days worth, each day having a book to read on a certain subject, plus interactive components as well.  

Jessica Yellin's Instagram account- I love, love, love Jessica Yellin, a reporter that focuses on "news not noise." She posts daily in her stories, does igtv, and has regular posts to. This is virus related right now, but I must say I always feel informed and rational after listening to her.  

*I completely admit my privilege here- I am lucky enough to be a salaried employee who will keep getting paid, I had the resources to buy a little extra, we are healthy, etc... Right now I'm not sure how to help others, but I am focusing my energy to support my students who are worried about graduating, IB tests, etc... I am also trying to thank EVERYONE at every store, our school custodians, the guy working at the gas station, our bosses etc... I know that that's not the same, but I think validating everyone's efforts is at least temporarily a kind thing to do. I can't wait for this to be over so I can donate all of our extras to the food pantry on our campus for students-in-need

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