I was in my 2,437th Zoom meeting the other day, and the host started things off by asking everyone to share one thing that they’ve been doing for self-care recently. To be honest, six months ago I most definitely would have scoffed at this. Self-care? I have a job, a toddler, a house, a million other things going on … who has time for that? But, wouldn’t you know it, recent events have changed my views a bit. I still have all of those things, but I also make time to do things that make me feel good — yoga, reading, an occasional (OK, daily) decadent treat — and I was pleasantly surprised to hear the same from others. If any positive can come from this terrible situation, at least people are generally more inclined to do SOMETHING for themselves … and these simple acts are proven to improve your mood and lessen anxiety.
One of the most popular forms of self-care is exercise, and the library has a couple of in-person, but social distance-friendly, programs throughout August. On Tuesdays at 5 p.m., join Julia Read in Wilcox Park by the pond for Baptiste Power Yoga. This class is also offered through Zoom, if you’re not able or willing to come to the park. On Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. we also have an Essentrics class, taught by Heather Van Dam. If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), Essentrics is a full-body stretching program, which helps you elongate and strengthen muscles. Both programs are free and open to all, and you just need a mat/towel and water.
Being in nature, whether alone or with family, is also a popular and therapeutic activity. Not sure where to start? We have plenty of guides to point you in the right direction, like “Weekend Walks in Rhode Island” by Ken Weber.
Finding an hour to devote to self-care isn’t always possible, but you can still make a positive impact with just a few minutes a day. The “Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook” by Sarah Kucera offers more than 100 daily rituals that take 10 minutes or less, all of which are purported to help boost energy, undo stress, and generally improve health.
Self-care isn’t just Crow poses, deep breathing, and green juice. The road to contentment is also paved with plush pillows, sweatpants, and the smell of fresh-baked cookies ... just ask the Danes! Hygge, the hard-to-define concept/practice of coziness and comfort, is a staple of Danish life, and perhaps one of the reasons why Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. From “Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness” to “Happy as a Dane,” we have plenty of books on replicating the feeling here at home. Similarly, I discovered a little jewel of a book called “Cosy: The British Guide to Comfort” by Laura Weir, which helps you harness the British magic of cozy every day.
Whatever self-care means to you, I hope you are finding time to do it. As always, your friendly, neighborhood librarians are here with plenty of resources to help!
Trending audiobooks on Hoopla
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MONDAY — 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Kids Take & Make Crafts: Paper Chain Caterpillar – Grab a bag of supplies from the ‘Kids’ tote that will be located outside the Library front door. Each Monday there will be a new craft. 1 per child; 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Teen Take & Make Craft: Popsicle Stick Bird Feeder – Grab a craft kit for teens! Each week will feature a different bag of goodies for you to take home and assemble. Supplies limited, 1 per teen; 10-10:15 a.m., Kids Mindful Monday Video – Don’t lose your cool! Check out some fun tips, tricks and activities to help keep calm and summer on! These short, pre-recorded videos are on our “Kids Online Programming” Facebook Group; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – This summer, free contact-less, grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 3-3:15 p.m., Kid Stories with Sara – Enjoy some fun stories with Sara! These short, pre-recorded videos are available on our “Kids Online Programming” Facebook group.
TUESDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go: Photo Coasters – Schedule an appointment to pick up your kit on 8/17 or 8/18! Supplies are limited; 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Teen Live Trivia with Kahoot – Join us for some trivia fun! We’ll be meeting through Zoom and using Kahoot. Topics will vary. Register in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at email@example.com; 2-2:15 p.m., Kids No-Bake Snacks – Join Judy and Meagan and beat the heat with some yummy treats! Find these short, pre-recorded videos on our ‘Kids Online Programming’ Facebook Group; 2-3 p.m., Film Club – New members always welcome! This month, the theme is Robert De Niro. Email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom meeting details; 5-6 p.m., Summer Yoga in Wilcox Park – All ages can join Julia Reid in the park or via Zoom for yoga practice; 5:30-7:30 Virtual Knit and Crochet Club – We’re still meeting virtually! Email email@example.com for details.
WEDNESDAY — 9:30-10 a.m., Essentrics/Classical Stretch Class – Join us for a 30 minute class in the park (appropriate for all ages and fitness levels). We recommend bringing a mat, towel, and water; 10-10:30 a.m., Zoom Book Chat (ages 6-11) – Come chat with the Westerly Children’s Librarians for a “Superheroes” themed book chat. Pre-registration is required; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library.
THURSDAY — 10-10:15 a.m., Kids Around Town Storytimes Video – Join Judy and Meagan as they travel to various locations in our downtown community to read fun, themed picture books; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Virtual Book and Writing Club – Join us on Zoom for an open discussion on anything book or writing related! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
FRIDAY — 10-10:30 a.m., Giants, Kings, & Mythical Things: Live, Interactive Adventure (Ages 4-12) – Join us as we try to find the King and save the world! Pre-registrants will be sent a link and password to join the Zoom program; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library.
SATURDAY — 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Adult Writer’s Workshop via Zoom – Share and discuss your work in this group-led writing workshop. All experience levels and genre interests welcome. Contact Allynn at email@example.com for Zoom information.
Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.