It’s always important to care for ourselves, but self-care may be a bit easier said than done these days. Fortunately, we live in a world where it’s easy to stay connected, and there is no shortage of affordable ways to stay safe, healthy, and entertained.
Here are eight healthy and free (or almost free!) things you can do online to stay entertained and connected during a time of social distancing.
You’re supposed to aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day, plus strength training at least twice a week. Luckily, you can still exercise despite being stuck inside. There are so many free online workout classes and livestreams out there!
If you’ve been meaning to incorporate more movement into your day-to-day, online yoga classes are the perfect solution. Yoga with Adriene has millions of views on her YouTube channel, which boasts a collection of more than 500 free yoga videos. From 30-day yoga challenges to guided meditations to exercises that target specific parts of the body, there’s a home workout video for every viewer. If you’re new to yoga or want to ease into your practice, check out the Yoga for Beginners and Foundations of Yoga classes first. Join the Yoga with Adriene community
Planet Fitness is offering free living room workouts hosted by trainers, pro athletes, and other members of the PF community. Watch the free “Work-Ins” livestream every day at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook. Follow Planet Fitness on Facebook
Want something a little more high energy? 305 Fitness livestreams free dance cardio Zoom, YouTube, and Instagram Live workouts throughout the day. Classes provide a full-body workout without using any equipment, and it’s appropriate for all ages! Follow the 305 Fitness at-home workouts calendar
2. Take free online classes
Looking for ways to pass the time besides just binging Netflix? Taking a free online class is a fulfilling way to spend your time. MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are free online classes that cover a wide range of subject matter, from science and engineering courses to arts and humanities classes.
These classes are offered and led by faculty from renowned institutions, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and UC Berkeley. Sign up for free at EdX, Coursera, and Khan Academy.
3. Order takeout and delivery
Support your favorite local eateries. Many restaurants are still open and taking orders for takeout and delivery. Some food delivery apps are waiving fees for independently-owned restaurants, including GrubHub and UberEats. You can also get grocery and food delivery and pickup, either through an app (Instacart, Shipt, or Amazon Prime) or through your grocery store.
A daily meditation and mindfulness practice is more useful than ever. Learn mindfulness exercises, get better sleep with sleep stories and sounds, and reduce stress and anxiety with one of these apps.
Headspace offers guided meditations, kids’ meditations, sleep stories and sounds, and more. Take advantage of the one-month free trial. The app costs $7.99 to $12.99 per month thereafter.
Calm is a free meditation and mindfulness app with sessions lasting from 3 to 25 minutes. Focus on starting a gratitude practice, cultivating workplace mindfulness, or learning breathing exercises. In-app purchases allow you to customize your experience. Start with the 21-day beginner program if you’re new to a meditation practice!
Aura offers mood-based meditations, life coaching, nature sounds, and more. The free mindfulness app also has a mood tracker function where you can keep track of patterns and set mindfulness breaks throughout the day.
5. Listen to audiobooks
Got a list of books you’ve been meaning to read? Listen to them! Open Culture has hundreds of classic works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry available for free. Download free audiobooks to your phone or computer and listen along to prolific works written by the likes of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, and their contemporaries.
6. Play games
We might not be able to see friends and family face to face, but we can still hang out virtually. Host a virtual game night using Jackbox Games. You can play using your phone, tablet, laptop, or other web-enabled device. Then, set up a video call using Zoom (free for up to 40 minutes) or Google Hangouts (free).
It’s healthy to keep track of our thoughts and write about the things going on in our lives. Journaling is a useful way to reduce stress and ease anxiety, whether you go old school with a pen and paper or download a journaling app.
Daylio is a “micro diary” app that’s great for nonwriters. It communicates through visuals and keeps track of your mood and the things you do every day.
Five Minute Journal asks you three questions every morning to instill gratitude and start your day on the right foot. Each day ends with a reflection and intention setting for the next day.
Day One lets you journal how you want to journal, whether you’re capturing once-in-a-lifetime occasions or snapping everyday moments. Entries can compile text, photos, and audio recordings, and you can easily tag and filter past posts.
Cost: free; in-app purchases
Where to download: App Store, not available on Android
8. Go to the doctor
Thanks to virtual medicine, you can still go to the doctor without jeopardizing the health of yourself and others. Telemedicine can be used to diagnose and treat minor health issues, including common colds, minor allergic reactions, headaches, etc.
A virtual visit is a convenient option that allows you to chat with a physician via phone or video from the comfort of your own home and get diagnosed in real-time. Vera Health plans include benefits for telemedicine services so you can get the care you need.
Another healthy thing you can do online? Get a free quote for a short-term health insurance plan! Vera Health offers access to affordable short-term health insurance that you can keep for up to one year and renew up to two additional times. Learn more about our flexible coverage options by calling 888-499-1187 to talk to a Vera Health pro, or visit us online.