Keeping the Winter Blues at Bay — Let’s Have Fun!

Keeping the Winter Blues at Bay — Let’s Have Fun!

With the winter months upon us and the COVID-19 restrictions all but relaxing, isolation and boredom are on the rise!

To help combat this, we have curated a list of activities, events, and opportunities to learn.

We will continue to update our list throughout the winter with fresh ideas!

 

Let us know what you have been enjoying or what you would like to see added in the comments at the bottom of this page.

Click Here to see the comments!

 

Entertainment

**NEW Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Cost – Free) 

Spring is just around the corner and that means it is time for Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

This year will look a little different, with online alternatives to many of the classic attractions.

Look at their website for all of the details: https://www.vcbf.ca/

Feeling poetic? Enter the annual Haiku contest! Contest is open for the full month of March. Details here: https://www.vcbf.ca/community-event/haiku-invitational

Check out the highlighted neighbourhoods in the neighbourhood tree walks. They are aimed to be done in person, but they have included a great selection of photos online that still lets you see all of the beauty in several areas of Vancouver. Check it out here: https://www.vcbf.ca/community-event/tree-talks-and-walks

 

**NEW Heron Cam at Stanley Park (Cost – Free) 

The Pacific Great Blue Herons are nesting in Stanley Park.

The Vancouver Park Board has set up cameras so that you can watch all of the action right from your home.

You can see right in to the nests themselves and even control the cameras to zoom in on any specific nest.

Watch all of the action with the following link: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/heron-cam.aspx#watch

 

**NEW Domestika (Cost – starting at 14.90/class) 

Domestika is a platform for creative people to learn and practice a variety of creative skills.

Classes are taught by expert professionals and are available for a wide variety of topics.

From learning watercolour techniques, to character illustration and 3D animation, to how to open an e-commerce website to sell your creations, there is sure to be something that everyone finds interesting.

 

Maybe try one of these classes (just search the title on their website):

Creating Garments Using Crochet

Modern Watercolour Techniques

Professional Woodworking for Beginners

Introduction to Interior Design

 

There are 600 course appealing to a wide variety of creative interests.

Most courses are made up of multiple classes and provide additional written materials you can download.

Many courses do require access to materials to follow along with the classes and learn the techniques that they are teaching you.

Check out all of the classes on their website:

https://www.domestika.org/en

 

**NEW Talking Stick Festival (Cost – Free) 

The Annual Talking Stick Festival has gone virtual this year!

All shows and events will be held online, just register to tune in.

There are several events a day, starting February 17th until February 27th 

Enjoy a wide variety of Indigenous art and stories, and community workshops.

For more information and to see the scheduled events  follow this link: https://fullcircle.ca/tsf-2021-shows/

 

**NEW  World Community Black History Month Film Screening (Cost – Free, accepting donations)

February 26th – 28th view screenings of several films highlighting and celebrating Black History.

To access the films pre-registration is required.

The films include King in the Wilderness, a look at the last 2 years of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life leading up to his assassination.

Three short films will also be available.

Rush to Freedom, a story about Governor James Douglas and his role in helping Black Americans escape from San Fransisco to Victoria.

Amber Valley, the story of the fist Black settlement in Canada.

and

Journey to Justice, a tribute to Canadians who fought for the civil rights of Black people.

To hear find out more about the films available visit: https://worldcommunity.ca/film-series/

To register for access to any or all of the films follow this link: https://watch.eventive.org/king

 

Vancouver Poem Hotline (Cost – Free) 

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association has launched a poem hotline you can call into and hear the works of 9 local poets.

Curated by Vancouver writer Renee Sarojini Saklikar, the hotline is aimed to be accessible, entertaining, and up lifting.

To hear any or all of the poems, dial 1 (833) POEMS 4 U (1(833) 763 6748)

 

Banff Mountain Film Festival (Cost – $19.25-$35.90)

The Banff Mountain Film festival has gone virtual to bring adventures and stories to a couch near you!

The Virtual World Tour consists of different bundles of films that you can rent for 3-14 days at a time.

Watch the films on demand during your rental period and check back for new uploads through out the year.

For information of the festival and the different programs follow this link:

https://filmfest.banffcentre.ca/products

To purchase tickets to a program through the Sid Williams Theatre click here:

https://www.sidwilliamstheatre.com/virtualevents/banff-mountain-film-festival-world-tour-virtual-edition-virtual/

*Note: Prices on the website are in USD

Purchasing through the Sid Williams Theatre website does not increase the price at all, but does help support our local theatre programs!

 

Andrew Luck’s Book Club (Cost- Free + cost of book) 

NFL Quarterback Andrew Luck loves reading so much he made his own online book club!

Each month he chooses a book for “Rookies” i.e. children and a book for “Veterans” i.e. adults.

Read the book, share you thoughts on twitter using @ALBookClub, and listen to Andrew’s podcast where he and a special guest share their thoughts on that months reads.

Join on your own or with friends so you can have even more discussion.

You could even read along and have discussions with the “Rookie” readers in your life.

Visit https://andrewluckbookclub.com/ to see the books of the month and find the monthly podcast episodes.

 

The Quarantine Book Club (Cost – $5) 

The Quarantine Book Club hosts online events with authors to discuss their new works, books they love, and more!

Check their website for upcoming events: https://www.quarantinebookclub.com/

 

Poet in Your Pocket Contest (Cost – Free) 

The Vancouver Island Regional Library is hosting the Poet in Your Pocket Contest.

April is National Poetry Month!

Submit your poetry for a chance to be included in the Poet in Your Pocket Booklet.

The contest is open to all levels and and submissions must be in my March 5th. 

For entry details and more information visit: https://virl.bc.ca/event/poem-in-your-pocket-contest/2021-01-29/

 

CBC Gem (Cost – Free or $4.99/month)

Stream live events, watch tv series and documentaries on the CBC Gem online streaming service.

Watch for free with ads or pay $4.99/month to watch without interruptions. (*currently offering 30 day free trial).

Go to https://gem.cbc.ca/ to set up you free account and start watching.

 

Looking for a documentary? Try:

One Million Trees – follows the journey that thousands of Canadians take part in, planting trees in remote areas in Northern BC and Vancouver Island.

Brothers Island – a short 14 minute story about the Wolastoqiyik and the mystery of Brothers Island

Life of a Dog – a 30 minutes film that follows a mother, daughter, and their 2 dogs during lockdown.

You Are What You Act – Will smiling make you happier? The science behind embodied cognition.

 

Looking for some live TV? Try:

The Olympics – watch various sports and competitions from previous summer and winter games.

 

Want a new show to watch? Try:

Travel Man: 48 Hours In… – Richard Ayoade goes on 48 hours holidays around the world

The Great British Baking Show – Watch competitors take on various baking challenges in hopes of winning the Great British Bake Off

Kim’s Convenience – a funny, heartwarming story of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto

Good People with Mark Sakamoto – this show takes a look at some of Canada’s biggest problems and tries to find solutions that offer hope

 

Stargazing (Cost – Free) 

We are fortunate to live in an area where our night skies are not too obstructed with high rise apartments and city lights.

Next time it’s dark out and your not sure what to do, why not take a look at the night sky and see what constellations you can find.

You can use an app like SkyView Lite to help you identify constellations and give you information about upcoming astrological events.

Download SkyView Lite for free in the Apple App Store or on Android Google Play.

Apple store: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/skyview-lite/id413936865

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.t11.skyviewfree&hl=en_CA&gl=US

Note: there is also a paid version of SkyView with additional capabilities that costs $2.79

Or 

Follow the Skywatch Weekly from the Adler Planetarium on Youtube for weekly stargazing challenges and information about current astrological events.

Find Skywatch Weekly on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0hNDLKmZkf3EAKPq9RnasPO7SF35s1WE

 

Just in Time Choirs (Cost – Varied, details below)

Current music enrichment online modules begin February 17th, 2021.

Just in Time Choirs is offering 4 different online learning modules.

Each module is $40-50 and consists of 4-5 online sessions.

Check out the details for each module here: https://justintimechoirs.ca/?page_id=2483

 

Just in Time Choirs is also continuing with their regular choir term online through Zoom.

The Unplugged Choir practices Wednesday’s from 7:30-9:00pm – there is no audition required to join.

Fees are $125 per term.

For more information visit: https://justintimechoirs.ca/?page_id=84

 

The Sofa Singers (Cost – Free or £10/$17.41 per month)

Add some singing in to your day with the Sofa Singers.

James Sills hosts a virtual 45 minute live singalong on Zoom twice a week to bring joy and music to anyone who wants to join in.

Sign up for limited spots for free

or

Become a member for $17.41 per month which ensures you have a spot, gives you access to the community Facebook page and exclusive content, and allows you to re-watch recorded sessions.

Take part on Tuesday’s at 11:30am PST

or

If you happen to be awake 3:00am PST on Friday’s

Make sure you register in advance to receive the lyric sheets and the Zoom link!

https://www.thesofasingers.com/how-to-join-1

 

Letz Sing Choir (Cost – $10/week, if possible)

Letz Sing is a local choir directed by Tina.

Singing is better than not singing, so with COVID-19 restriction they moved online to Zoom.

They are committed to making their Choir accessible to everyone!

The new term starts January 18th, 2021

Contact Tina at: https://www.letzsing.com/sign-up to sign up!

Check out the website at http://letzsing.com

 

Cirque du Soleil (Cost – Free)

Cirque du Soleil has put videos of behind the scenes training, spot lights on fan favourites acts, and even 60 minute specials of some of their shows on YouTube

Check out the magical world of Cirque du Soleil for free right from you home at: https://www.youtube.com/c/CirqueduSoleil/featured 

 

Ted Talks (Cost – Free) 

A huge archive of videos and talks on any topic you can imagine.

Get inspired, learn something new, or just see what someone has to say about a topic you find interesting.

Go to https://www.ted.com/ , select topics and video length to see suggest talks, or browse through their archives yourself.

Or, why not try one of their 25 most popular talks of all time from this playlist:

https://www.ted.com/playlists/171/the_most_popular_talks_of_all

 

Art and Creativity for Healing (Cost – $39USD/class + supplies) 

Art 4 Healing offers online live art classes through Zoom.

Classes are easy to access and lots of support and guidance is provided.

Sign up for a class with friends or family members, or join alone and meet some other art enthusiasts.

Click here to sign up through their website:

https://www.art4healing.org/live/

 

Recipe Share on Facebook (Cost – Free) 

Stuck in a recipe rut? Check out the “Awesome Recipe Share Group” on Facebook for some new inspiration.

This page is full of dishes of all kinds with links to the recipes so you can recreate the dishes yourself.

Submit recipes you love so others can try them out, or just scroll through to find something new you want to try.

To find the page just search “Awesome Recipe Share Group” on Facebook, or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/234936450332030/photos/

 

Quarantine Art Club (Cost – Free)

Get monthly inspiration the first Tuesday of each month from @carsonellis on Instagram.

Monthly themes are posted to inspire followers in their art making.

Use the inspiration to guide your own creativity, and if you want… share your creations with others on Instagram using #transmundanetuesday

This account is also working on putting together online art workshops for all ages and abilities, follow the account to see when these might be starting in the future.

 

International Puzzle Swap (Cost – $51USD/year + shipping costs) 

The International Puzzle Swap links it’s members with each other to share those puzzles that have been sitting in their closet since it was completed the first time.

Members pay $51 USD/year (or $61USD for 2 years) to become a part of the group

You can choose the specific puzzle you would like to receive from the puzzle library or just provide your specifications (number or pieces, if you are ok with a couple missing pieces, if you have any mobility needs) and you will be sent a puzzle that matches your preferences.

Members are also expected to send puzzles of their own and participate in the swapping.

 

Poppy Love’s Book Club (Cost – Free + a monthly book)

Poppy Love is a British blogger who hosts a worldwide monthly book club for women.

Each month members read the chosen book, then log in to Facebook on the last Wednesday of each month from 11:30am – 1:00pm PST to discuss the book over live stream.

Check out their website or Facebook page for the most recent information:

http://www.poppylovesbookclub.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1416245088604330/

 

Podcasts (Cost – Free-$9.99/month)

Listen on a walk or at home. There are podcasts out there on any topic you could imagine.

Listen on CBC Listen, Spotify or Apple Music (listen for free with ads or sign up for the premium versions for $9.99/month)

Here are some podcasts to try out:

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – hosted by journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin. He brings a new energy to historical events!

On Being with Krista Tippet – Krista Tippet tackles life’s big questions. She discusses spiritual inquiry, science, social hearing, and the arts

Conspiracy Theories by The Parcast Network – This podcasts gives you all the details about different events and tackles if the truth really is the best story

10% Happier with Dan Harris – Dan Harris talks with experts about the secret to living life 10% happier than you are today

30 for 30 Podcasts – from the original 30 for 30 documentary series on ESPN, this podcast features stories from the world of sports and beyond

Seat at the Table with Martine St-Victor and Isabelle Racicot: 2 friends and guests talking about the Black Lives Matter Movement, why it is important, and what the next steps are

Find these podcasts and more through the Spotify app (in the apple store or google play), on the CBC website under podcasts, on Apple Music, or follow these links to get started:

CBC Podcasts: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts

Spotify (free) sign up: https://www.spotify.com/ca-en/free/ 

Spotify Premium sign up: https://www.spotify.com/ca-en/premium/

Apple Music (free for 3months then $9.99/month) sign up: https://music.apple.com/us/listen-now?at=1000l4QJ&ct=402&itscg=10000&itsct=402x

 

Online Puzzles (Cost – Free) 

Go to http://puzzlegarage.com, pick a puzzle, pick how many pieces you would like, and enjoy!

So many options, there should be something for everyone!

Plus, it’s all contained to your screen so you can keep your kitchen table free for dinner!

 

Virtual Baking Club with the Vancouver Island Regional Library (Cost – Free + the cost of ingredients and equipment)

Registration is required

Each month club members are given a theme. Each member is to create or discover a recipe that meets the theme and bring their recipe and baked goods to the virtual zoom meeting each month.

All ages welcome, contact kparker@virl.bc.ca to register.

 

 

Learning

**NEW Lunar New Year – Learn Cantonese (Cost – Free) 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with by learning some Cantonese!

These classes are curated towards learning greetings and traditions of the Lunar New Year and welcoming the year of the Ox.

Every Saturday in February from 1-2pm  on Zoom you can learn from UBC’s Dr. Zoe Lam.

Classes are free but do require registration.

Follow this link to get your free tickets for all or some of the remaining classes:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lunar-new-year-in-canto-tickets-138189938827

Note* these classes do require some previous knowledge of Cantonese. Check the link at the bottom of the event page to see if this class is a good level for you.

 

**NEW Comox Valley Horticultural Society Meeting with Brian Minter (Cost – $0-$30)

The Comox Valley Horticultural Society is hosting Brian Minster on Monday, February 15th at 7pm.

He will give a talk about all the new trends in gardening, focusing on the increased popularity of home food gardens and environmental planning.

The talk will be held over Zoom.

Advanced registration is required.

The cost’s are as follows:

For members of the Horticultural Society – Free

Guests (non members) – $5.50

If you would like to purchase a membership to gain free access to this event as well as all other events and meetings held by the Horticultural Society, it costs $20 for individuals or $30 for a family.

To register for this event go to: https://comoxvalleyhortsociety.ca/2021/01/12/february-15-2021-brian-minter-whats-new-in-the-world-of-plants/

For more information about the Comox Valley Horticultural Society and other upcoming events check out there website: https://comoxvalleyhortsociety.ca/

 

Learn American Sign Language (Cost – Varied, see below) 

American Sign Language (ASL) is a huge part of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Learn to speak the language with the 3 level learning program from StartASL.

The program uses videos and online learning materials to help you learn the basics of ASL

Follow this link to start learning: https://www.startasl.com/learn-sign-language-asl/

Or

Use the Stack Social ASL courses.

Currently on sale for $19.99 USD, you get life time access to 53 lectures about ASL vocabulary, deaf culture, and more.

This course will take you all the way from beginner to advanced.

Try out this course here: https://stacksocial.com/sales/the-complete-american-sign-language-master-class-bundle

 

Social Work and the Sixties Scoop with Dr. Raven Sinclair (Cost – Free) 

The UBC School of Social Work is hosting a Distinguished Indigenous Speakers Series.

On March 2nd 5pm – 6:30 pm join Dr. Raven Sinclair on Zoom to learn about key events and forces that shaped the Sixties Scoop, where Indigenous children were removed from their families, and the lasting effects that this has had on Indigenous communities to this day.

The event is free, but registration is required.

To learn more about the talk, Dr. Sinclair, and to register follow this link:

https://socialwork.ubc.ca/events/event/dr-raven-sinclair-and-the-sixties-scoop/

 

Virtual Gardening Series: Starting From Seed (Cost – Free) 

The Vancouver Island Regional Library is hosting an virtual gardening seminar taught by Dorothee Kieser.

Join Dorothee on Zoom February 27th 1pm – 2:30pm PST  for the first instalment of this series.

She will discuss how to pick the best seeds, how to care for different types of plants through their different life stages, and what are the best tools to use.

The event is free, but does require registration.

For more information and to register, go to: https://virl.bc.ca/event/gardening-series-starting-from-seed/

or contact: NanaimoHarbourfront@virl.bc.ca 

 

Black History Month at Vancouver Island Regional Library (Cost – Free)

February is Black history month!

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries has put together resources to read, listen, watch, and learn.

Check it all out at: https://virl.bc.ca/read-watch-listen/audience/adults/black-history-month-at-virl/

 

North Island College Artist Talks (Cost – Free)

NIC’s artist talks will take place on Zoom this year.

The talks cover a wide range of topics and from multiple wonderful speakers.

From January 25th to March 17th attend any or all of the 8 talks, each from a different artist.

For the full schedule and more information visit: https://www.nic.bc.ca/life-at-nic/nic-news/news/nic-artist-talk-goes-online-for-winter-2021/

To register for tickets: https://nicart.tickit.ca/

Tickets are free, but registration in advance is required.

 

Museum of Anthropology at UBC Online – (Cost- Free) 

Explore that Great Hall at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and learn about the carvings on display from various First Nations communities. Follow this link to start exploring: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=h6dGbTSJ9mP

Visit the collections online here: http://collection-online.moa.ubc.ca/

Or follow this link to look at the stories posted detailing specific artists, discussing interesting topics, and even some behind the scenes looks at how archiving and curating works at MOA. https://moa.ubc.ca/stories/

 

Comox Valley ElderCollege at North Island College (Cost – $5 membership + $5-$60/course)

Registration for over 40 courses at ElderCollege begins the week of January 18th, 2021.

Choose from courses in arts, economics, cultural studies, biology and more.

Membership is required to register in a course.

For $5 annually you are able to register for ElderCollege courses at NIC.

For information on memberships to ElderCollege click here: https://www.nic.bc.ca/student-services/admissions/mature-learners/elder-college/

Browse the available courses here: https://www.nic.bc.ca/continuing-education/search-courses/cv-eldercollege-courses/

For course list with prices click here: https://tinyurl.com/y5sgu5e2

 

Duolingo (Cost – Free) 

Now seems like as good a time as any to learn a new language!

Duolingo is a free program that will help you learn how to speak a new language.

They offer 36 different language courses with easy to follow, simple lessons to get you started from an level.

Follow this link to get started: https://www.duolingo.com/

 

Ukulele and Guitar Lessons (Cost – Free + an instrument)

Andy will teach you how to play the guitar or ukulele through his online YouTube videos.

His videos are aimed for beginners and give easy instructions to teach you the basics.

Try his 10 day Ukulele Starter Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bTE5fbxDsc&list=PL-RYb_OMw7Ge2KE0P_RP83vZyWxoC4OiO

or

The Beginner Course for guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EVT2VNMcpA&list=PL-RYb_OMw7GfG6MS0WBO1v2qvtomUkZci

or

Browse his page for other tutorials and videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9cvVvlvr-qBssphm1EdYGQ

 

Master Class (Cost – $20/month)

Access a huge variety on classes on lots of different topics taught by celebrities and experts in the field.

Classes are guided with videos and include workbooks to help you learn about something new.

Pay $20/month and have access to as many classes as you want!

Maybe try out these: 

Jimmy Chin teaches adventure photography – https://www.masterclass.com/classes/jimmy-chin-teaches-adventure-photography

Steve Martin teaches comedy – https://www.masterclass.com/classes/steve-martin-teaches-comedy

Dr. Jane Goodall teaches conservation – https://www.masterclass.com/classes/jane-goodall-teaches-conservation

Ron Finley teaches gardening – https://www.masterclass.com/classes/ron-finley-teaches-gardening

 

Khan Academy (Cost – Free) 

Khan Academy offers a variety of online educational classes for free.

Most courses are aimed at school ages, but they have a section of classes that may interest all ages!

Sign up for a free account to access any classes from their library.

Maybe try out these: 

Art History, Start from the basics – https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history

World History – https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history

How Computers Work – https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/code-org/computers-and-the-internet

 

Skill Share (Cost – $20/month or $141/year) 

SkillShare creates online classes on many different topics.

Browse through their huge variety of classes or try these ones:

Meditation 101 – https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Meditation-101-Spark-Joy-Peace-and-Creativity-in-Your-Daily-Life/1386894652?via=browse-popular-lifestyle

Watercolour Holiday Cards – https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Watercolor-Holiday-Cards-Create-Joyful-Mail-Art/1362627214?via=browse-featured

Woodworking Techniques for Beginners – https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Woodworking-Techniques-for-Beginners-Part-A/1772442063?via=search-layout-grid

 

Truth and Reconciliation Archives (Cost – Free) 

Read, watch, and learn about the history and effects of the Residential School system in Canada.

Watch mini documentaries and read the archived stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission online at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

https://nctr.ca/scripts/mwimain.dll/144/DESC_ACC_VIEW/web_summary/keyword_cl%20md*%20and%20form%20video?sessionsearch 

 

The Museum of Vancouver – Virtual tour (Cost – Free) 

Check out the Museum of Vancouver’s History gallery right from your own home.

Just follow the link and walk through their online gallery:

https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=GXX9aHGdDke

 

Google Arts and Culture – Virtual Tours (Cost – Free) 

Google has put together virtual tours of some of the worlds most famous museums as well as tours through the works of different artists and art styles .

Why not start by checking out these:

The Forbidden City: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/treasures-of-the-palace-museum

Sophie Taeuber-Arp at MoMA: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/moma-the-museum-of-modern-art

World War II – The Flying Frontier: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/smithsonian-world-war-ii 

Explore more at: https://artsandculture.google.com/

 

Health and Fitness

**NEW Begin Your Tai Chi Journey: An Intro to Essential Tai Chi Skills (Cost – Free) 

Tai Chi uses posting, walking, breathing, and hand movements to promote organ health, lower body strength, and mental focus.

Every Sunday at 10am EST/7am PST  join the beginners class to learn the basics of Tai Chi practice.

Follow the link to register for the event: http://tinyurl.com/1585ov80

 

1-877-2BE-CALM Project (Cost – Free) 

The Victoria Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder has worked to create a soundboard of calming, joyful auditory experiences.

It includes 9 calming tracks of nature noises, children laughing, poetry, stories, and meditation.

Simply dial 1-877-2BE-CALM (1-877-223-2256) and follow the prompts to select which track you would like to listen to.

For more information and to hear the tracks online visit:

https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/culture/public-art/artist-in-residence-keep-art-in-mind-program/1-877-2be-calm-project.html

This project with be available until July 2021 and they will be changing the tracks periodically, so call back to hear something new.

 

365 Gratitude Journal (Cost – $34.99/year, offers 7 day free trial) 

Use this journaling app to help calm your mind and set good intentions.

Your mental health is just as important (if not more important) than your physical health.

365 Gratitude Journal provides daily guided journaling that can take as little as 5 minutes a day.

It’s not just a journal though. It allows you to reflect with others, learn to manage your stress with self-compassion, and offers guided meditation to lower anxiety and improve your sleep.

Try it out on you phone of tablet by downloading the app:

Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/365-gratitude-journal/id1072397377

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gratitude.challenge

Or use it on your computer at: https://365gratitudejournal.com/web/#/welcome

 

MindShift CBT – Anxiety Relief (Cost – Free) 

Feeling anxious, need some help to relax your mind, or just looking for some guided mindfulness/meditation?

Anxiety Relief Canada’s MindShift app uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help manage anxiety, worry, and stress.

The app is free in the Apple App Store of Android Google Play.

It provides a variety of evidence-based activities and practices that are aimed to help you relax and manage your anxiety.

The app includes relaxing guided meditation tracks, journaling prompts, challenges to help face your fears, simple daily check ins, and more. There is something suited for everyone!

Download the app here:

For Apple users: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/mindshift/id634684825

For Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bstro.MindShift&hl=en

 

Silver Sneakers (Cost – Free) 

Silver Sneakers posts workout videos on YouTube designed for seniors.

Browse through their videos and add some movement to your day

https://www.youtube.com/c/silversneakers/featured

 

ElderGym Academy (Cost – Free to $20/month)

ElderGym also posts workout videos you can do from you home that are targeted towards seniors.

Watch their videos for free at: https://www.youtube.com/c/Eldergym/featured

or

If you prefer scheduled classes to help keep you on track you can join their online membership system.

This gives you access to live stream classes, personal support from coaches, and increased library of videos, and more.

This membership costs $20USD monthly, but they are currently offering a 1 week free trial

Access the membership program at: https://eldergymacademy.com/

 

Heart and Soul Fitness (Cost – Free) 

Heart and Soul Fitness has online workout videos for all abilities and all levels.

They have a section specifically designed for seniors, as well as a wide variety of other videos if you are looking to branch out.

Find the seniors curated archives here: https://hasfit.com/workouts/home/senior/

or

Explore all of their videos here: https://hasfit.com/

 

Virtual Recreation with the City of Courtenay (Cost – Free) 

Click the link to find a variety of fitness classes you can watch any time!

https://www.courtenay.ca/EN/main/community/recreation/virtual-recreation.html

 

Do Yoga With Me (Cost – Free or pay $10US/month for extended access) 

No sign up required!

Watch classes from a huge library of free classes or pay $10US/month to unlock the premium classes as well.

Filter classes by length, style, teacher, focus or difficulty

Note: classes with the “+” icon require membership. 

https://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga-classes

 

Senior Fitness with Meredith (Cost – Free) 

Watch classes on Youtube designed specifically for seniors.

Browse the channel’s library of classes here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/SeniorFitnessWithMeredith/videos

 

 

Games

Washington Post Crossword Puzzles (Cost- Free) 

Test your knowledge and pass some time with the Washington Posts daily crossword.

Do todays puzzle, as well as those from the previous 6 days online at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/crossword-puzzles/daily/

You don’t have to do it alone! Send friends or family members the link to your game so you can work together. Just click the icon above the puzzle showing a green and red figure to invite them to play.

They even have optional hints you can use if you get stuck.

 

ScrabbleGo (Cost – Free with optional in app purchases) 

Get ScrabbleGo in the Apple app store or Google Play

Download and play with your friends or let the app match you with others online looking for a partner.

Easy to use and follows the rules of the classic Scrabble board game

 

Draw Something (Cost – Free with optional in app purchases) 

Get Draw Something in the Apple app store or Google Play

Choose a word and draw a picture to make the other player guess what your word is.

Play with friends or family who also have the app, or let the app match you with others looking for a partner

 

Board Game Arena (Cost – Free) 

Sign up for free and choose from a large variety of online board games to play.

A lot of these games are less well known, but the website will walk you through how to play any game you choose! Maybe you’ll stubble across a new favourite.

Invite people you know to play a game with you or play against someone who is also looking for a partner.

Choose whether you want to play a full game now, or take it turn by turn when you have the time.

Browse games based on difficulty or number of players.

Maybe start by trying out (just search for them under “find a game”):

Yahtzee, Battleships, or Can’t Stop

 

Catan (Cost – Free) 

Play this classic multiplayer adventure game with your friends and family or just by yourself

Play on a tablet, smartphone, or computer. Just register for free and get started

Note: on a computer make sure to make to game screen full screen by clicking on the symbol with the 2 diagonal arrows (this will make the graphics much easier to read!)

Click the following link to start playing Catan!

https://catanuniverse.com/en/game/

 

MSN Games (Cost – Free)

MSN Zone has a large archive of online games that are free to play.

They have games to play on your own as well as a multiplayer section where you are randomly matched with others looking for an opponent.

Why not try: Mahjong, Jewel, or Bubble Shooter

https://zone.msn.com/en-us/home

 

 

For Grandparents

Caribu (Cost – Free to $9.99USD($12.62CAD)/month) 

Caribu is a digital program for grandparents and grandchildren to connect virtually on your computer or on a mobile device.

With the free version you can read books, play games and video chat.

If you choose to purchase a membership for $12.62CAD a month you gain access to even more activities and books, as well as virtual art pages.

The great thing is you only need one membership for your whole family.

Find out more about the different plans here: https://caribu.com/plans/

Get started with Caribu on your computer here: https://app.caribu.com/

To download the app on a phone or tablet, follow these links:

For Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/caribu-video-calls-kids-love/id763451959

For Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.caribu.Caribu

 

Readeo (Cost – $9.99/month or $99.99/year) **currently offering free month trial

Readeo is an online way to have story time with your grandchildren.

You and your grandchild can read along and turn the pages to any of the 200+ books in the Readeo virtual library.

Books are aimed for kids 0 – 8 years.

Follow the link to learn more about Readeo and start your free month trial:

https://www.readeo.com/

 

Marco Polo App (Cost – Free)

Marco Polo is an app available through the Apple app store of Google Play

It allows you to send video messages back and forth with loved so you can stay in touch without having to coordinate schedules.

The program has great features in it’s free version, and also provides the option to upgrade to Marco Polo Plus for $60/year

The paid version removes ads and allows you to save the videos you send and receive as well as add fun filters and effects to your messages.

Check it out here: https://www.marcopolo.me/

 

Pen Pals (Cost – $1.07 for an individual stamp) 

Emails and phone calls are great to keep in touch more immediately, but there is still something exciting about sending and receiving letters!

Why not start sending letters back an forth with the people you care about?

 

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