During COVID-19, take care of big stressors first. Need help with unemployment, housing costs, food assistance, or any other immediate concerns? There are resources available to help. Call 211 to be connected to a person in your preferred language who can guide you to the correct support, or visit 211la.org.
Click on the topics below to see free resources.
Complete nutrition is important to keep your immune system running at peak performance, and for your mental health, too! Aim for foods from the five food groups each day. See www.choosemyplate.gov for more information on food groups, or check out the free Start Simple with MyPlate app.
Nutrition lessons and recipes from MUSD Nutrition Services
Supercook.com or the SuperCook app can help you find recipes for whatever foods you have on hand, or just do an internet search for a few of the food items you have plus the word “recipe”
Physical activity helps with sleep, depression, anger, tiredness, and more. Movement can help us feel more energized and ready to handle challenges.
Physical Activities for children and adults of different ages Includes exercises you can do with household items and basic yoga for stability, strength, and flexibility.
MusicalPEPlus Physical activity and PE with music! Includes ideas for kids such as putting a paper plate under each foot to “skate” around a room (reuse the paper plates as skates - the dirtier they get the better they work), and blowing balloons up with regular air and hit them with hands, elbows, knees, etc. to keep them up in the air. Even a rolled up pair of socks or a stuffed animal can be used as a ball for catching and throwing.
YouTube Fitness Videos
CosmicKidsYoga fun educational yoga for kids!
For adults, see HIIT videos from channels like Natacha Océane for quick cardiovascular training if there’s not much time. Yoga with Adriene and Yoga with Tim are great for strength, balance, flexibility, and calmness. The HASfit channel incorporates weightlifting with cardio and stability.
Indoor and outdoor family games - suggestions from a physical therapist with kids
Physical Education games - these may require some equipment, but you may have something similar at home already
Muscle knots in the neck - a lot of people have pain in their neck and shoulders and think they slept wrong, but it’s more likely caused by poor posture during the day looking down at a phone or laptop screen. This has increased for many people as different activities and social events go online. Try to put your electronic device at eye level so that you can keep your neck and back straight. If you have knots in the neck already, try this video from a physical therapist.
If you or someone you know is in distress and needs mental health support right now, call 800-854-7771 or text “LA” to 741741.
This is a difficult time for people worldwide. Here are some resources to help with difficult emotions and behaviors.
Dr. Laurie Santos of Yale answers questions on mental health, relationships, children and more during COVID-19 (see link to Coursera course on The Science of Wellbeing in the Free Resources below)
With pandemic-related stress, abuse against kids can surge - article with quick tips for parents feeling overwhelmed
Feelings wheel to help identify and communicate feelings, so it’s easier to understand and help each other.
Helping children manage emotions from McLean Hospital
Free Resources for Learning and Entertainment
Libby - borrow books for free online from local libraries. Fiction and historical books can transport us to other worlds to put our own problems into perspective and learn from the trials and tribulations of others. Long-form reading also really helps with anxiety, and gives our brains a break from information overload from social media and news. Libby includes books in many languages as well as audiobooks.
Many children’s books can be found on YouTube by searching for the title of the book. Be sure to supervise YouTube use, though - harmful videos can slip through even on the kids app, and there are a lot of advertisements.
Sample schedules - schedules can help children and adults alike feel more secure and stable. Predictable schedules can help with family harmony and reduce the mental work of figuring out what to do next. Having consistent times for meals and bedtime also have benefits for physical health, as the body likes to keep a schedule based on circadian rhythm. If you can, going outside for some early morning sunshine can also help maintain circadian rhythm.
Khan Academy - Online courses for all grade levels and subjects, daily schedules, test preparation, resources for parents and teachers
Los Angeles Public Library has many reading and learning opportunities
Resources with Free Trial
ABC Mouse - online learning ages 2-8
Adventure Academy - online learning ages 8-13
Purple Mash - British website for kids to learn subjects such as computer coding
Calm - meditation app, bedtime stories for adults and children to fall asleep to, inspirational stories from celebrities like LeBron James
Headspace - Meditation app that also includes brief workouts that can be done anywhere