Finding Wellness In Difficult Times

We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis and the only way out is through. Though we are all choosing to navigate this challenging time in different ways, the only way to thrive is to incorporate a hearty dose of self-care.

We wanted to take a moment to share a few new ways to practice self-care while honoring public health recommendations and social distancing. These ideas were put together by the Skyland Trail Wellness Committee, a group of staff members that lead the charge in providing Skyland Trail staff with healthy activities like yoga, staff field day, mindfulness exercises, and much more.

Stay Connected

The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is offering a couple of programs that may be of interest. The New Normal is a peer-led mutual support group where participants are able to receive support for whatever is going on in their lives right now. Peer Connections is a peer-led wellness activity that will vary from week to week, sometimes day-to-day.

Netflix Party, an extension on Google Chrome, is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows. Now you’re watching those episodes of The Office with your besties.

ZOOM parties with friends are a great way to remain connected too! If you have a regular meet-up with a group of friends each week, try doing it virtually through video conferencing.

Explore the Arts

Broadway theaters have temporarily shut down, but we still have the internet. Broadway HD, a theater streaming service, is now offering a 7-day free trial as more and more people are finding themselves stuck at home. Normally the service costs $8.99 per month, but right now Broadway HD is offering this promotion in the wake of the COVID-19 closures. “Hamilton” anyone?

Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring you virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.

The New York Metropolitan Opera will stream a different encore performance Live in HD every day. Each performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) and remain available for streaming for 20 hours. 

Stroll through the Louvre on three virtual tours of the famous Paris museum.

Stay Active, Unplug, Improve Your Physical and Mental Health or Take an Online Class

Kevin Snodgrass, a personal trainer in our Health Challenge program, is uploading free daily workouts to his company’s blog over at

See the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s collection of natural spaces that can accommodate social distancing.

Take a yoga class online using YouTube, Amazon Prime, or support a local studio that’s started to provide virtual classes like Decatur Yoga and Pilates. We also recommend starting with Yoga With Adriene, which has hundreds of videos for all skill levels and all sorts of different categories like Yoga for Bedtime and Yoga for Wrist Pain.

Stay fit even if you don’t have one of Peloton’s fancy bikes at home. They’re offering an extended 90-day trial to their app, which offers workout classes in a variety of categories, not just cycling.

305 Fitness, which boasts dance cardio workouts, has a variety of free workout videos on its YouTube channel.

The Headspace app is offering free year-long memberships for healthcare professionals. Use your NPI number to apply the promotion to your free account. For clinicians who do not have an NPI number, it is easy (and free) to register for one online.

Mindfulness and compassion practices can help us find an inner refuge, and deepen our loving connection with each other. Meditation expert Tara Brach, PhD created Pandemic Care Resources filled with guided meditations to use in this difficult time.

You can take free online courses from Ivy League universities like Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale on Class Central.

Borrow eBooks, digital magazines, and audiobooks from your local library. All you need is a library card and access to the website and/or app of your library system.

For Kids and Families

If you’re a parent looking for a way to keep your kids engaged academically during this very challenging time, there are many tools you can try: Khan Academy, PBS KIDS, Learn at Home, Age of Learning, Prodigy, and Mystery Science

Connect the kids on a virtual playdate with Caribu. Think FaceTime but with on-screen activities like drawing pictures, playing games or reading a book together.

Sit down with kids and watch a puppet show through the Center for Puppetry Arts. Workshops, museum, and puppet shows are free from your own home.

If your kids would like to take their own yoga class, there are plenty available through Preschool Inspirations.

Kids need a screen break? Then head over to The Amazon company is now instantly streaming tons of stories just for kids. The free service includes titles in six languages, ranging from little listeners to teens. Kids can pick from Audible originals, literary classics like Winnie the Pooh, folk tales and more.

Download and print free coloring pages on Crayola’s website.

Explore the World (Virtually)

View one of the many live cameras streams through the Georgia Aquarium.

The China Guide has opportunities for you to walk the Great Wall of China without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Visit Buckingham Palace and take a tour of the royal residence including the red-carpeted Throne Room, Grand Staircase and gilded Drawing Room.

Italy may be on lockdown, but you can still tour the Sistine Chapel.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough.

Take a virtual hike through one of our country’s beautiful national parks.

Watch live cameras of your favorite animal exhibits through the San Diego Zoo website.

We hope these resources give you some joy in this strange and difficult time.

For more information about how Skyland Trail is protecting its clients, staff, and community from the spread of the coronavirus, including up-to-date information on our psychiatric treatment programs, visit our Coronavirus page.