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Ways to Engage the Mind While Stuck at Home

Much of the country is now under some form or other of mandatory or voluntary quarantine, and Philadelphia is in the swing of it. With nonessential businesses closed down and stay at home orders in place, many people are looking for outlets on how to keep their minds and brains healthy while they are stuck in or near their homes with a multitude of free hours at their disposal. If you happen to be stuck at home, we understand your situation, and we’d like to extend some words of help. 

We’ve always been committed to health here at Waterfront Gourmet, and now is no different from any other time. It might seem like a rough break not being able to frequent your favorite catering company in Philadelphia for your preferred healthy meal, but we’re going to let you in on a couple of tricks on how you can stay healthy, even while you’re still at home. Health is more than just diet; it is mindset, activity and more. It’s a holistic series of processes that make a healthy individual, and even if you’re stuck at home, you can still explore some of these outlets. 

There’s Plenty To Do Online

One of the more fortunate things about being on lockdown in the modern world is that little changes with respect to our virtual connection to the outside world. At this time in history, with the click of a button or just a few, you can explore the world through any of the screens in front of you or in your pocket. The internet offers you multiple avenues for exercising your mind and staving off boredom – and exercise of the mind is as critical to healthy living as diet is. 

Take A Virtual Tour Through Google Arts and Culture 

The United States isn’t the only place grappling with the effects of Coronavirus; the rest of the world is as well. As a result, many famous museums and historical landmarks around the state, the country, and the world are presently closed. On top of that, travel to them might even be restricted. Yet, in this day and age, you can take a free virtual tour of some of the most famous locations around the world from the comfort of your own home.

Google Arts & Culture has made it possible for you to take virtual tours of some of the most remarkable hallmarks of cultural significance from all over the globe, for free, right from your desk. Visit the Acropolis Museum, showcasing timeless cultural artifacts and sculptures in marble and limestone right from home.

If your tastes are domestic, visit the National Gallery of Washington, D.C., one of the most comprehensive and definitive collections of art in the entire world. Normally, this museum would only be a few hours ride, but today you can visit within the space of a few minutes. Sift through their collections of Baroque and Realist distillations of artistic excellence, or view one of their featured exhibits on the Fijnschilders (“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting”) or investigate their “Fashioning a Nation” exhibit of drawings from Index of American Design. 

If your tastes are in historical landmarks or closer to home, don’t miss a chance to check out their exhibit on Gettysburg National Military Park which boasts an impressive collection of period artifacts central to that pivotal battle of the American Civil War. Or, take a trip back further in time and make a virtual visit to Independence Hall, which, though only a few blocks from some of us here in Philly, is now otherwise closed down. Get a new take on the origins of our nation from this exhibit. 

View an Online Concert 

Another great way to keep yourself entertained and engage your mind is to view some of the many free concerts that are available on TV and online. Music is great for the soul, stimulates creativity and enjoyable on top of all that, and being stuck inside all the time is no time to be deprived of music, particularly if you are a music lover.

Online concerts and other venues have taken it on the chin in recent weeks, with loads of festivals and nearly all manner of gatherings being canceled or postponed. Many artists and organizations have responded by organizing free online concerts. Depending on your tastes in music, you can find a concert or recording to keep yourself entertained and sharp. National Public Radio has compiled a list of these upcoming events – you should check them out. Some of them require registration, but many are free, and there’s a great sampling of different styles of music in there.

Study a New Subject Online

The internet isn’t just a great place to keep yourself entertained to stave off boredom. It’s also a wonderful resource of nearly limitless free information, and all you need to do to find it is a little digging.

It would be nearly impossible to compile a list of all the free repositories the internet holds in online classes, video tutorials, educational blogs and more, but pick an interest of yours and get started learning. There are so many great resources available for learning new subject materials that sometimes immersion is the best way to get familiar.

This is only one example, but at the moment The Great Courses is offering a free month trial. All you have to do is sign up and you can get started receiving free education in a topic or subject that has always interested you. Their library includes subjects as broad as many college course lists; ranging from Economics to Literature to Philosophy, Sciences, and Fine Arts. Many of their courses are delivered by professors from the world’s leading universities so you’ll be learning from some of the brightest minds in the world. Check out their website,, to learn more.

One more note – don’t be afraid to get creative. There are more resources online than you can count for learning about what interests you. Libraries are closed, but the internet is the world’s biggest library, so start learning.

There’s Also Plenty to do in the Home

While the internet is a great resource for those looking to keep boredom at bay and flex their mental muscles, you shouldn’t neglect your physical health while you’re in quarantine. It can be too easy to fall into unhealthy patterns and routines being stuck inside all day, but just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you have to give fitness the backseat. Here are some ways to stay physically active and healthy (and a few more for the mind) while you’re at home.

Do Bodyweight Exercises

If you were in the habit of frequenting a gym or participating in fitness classes before the stay at home orders were issued, it’s normal if you feel a little out of sorts. Regardless, there are plenty of ways you can get a really good workout in and around your home without setting foot inside a gym or joining others for a workout.

If you were used to doing resistance training with weights at a gym, there are still plenty of things to substitute for weights at home. You just need to get creative and remember to be safe. Depending on your level of fitness, there are nearly infinite possibilities for getting a good resistance workout at home with improvised weights. A quick Google search of “What to use for weights at home” will cover most – or all – of your bases. From milk jugs to paint cans to books, the internet is rife with suggestions.

You don’t even need weights to get a great workout at home, though. While there are many substitutions you can make for weights, you can do plenty of full-body weight exercises to keep your muscles and bones ready and healthy while you wait out the quarantine. Squats, pushups, sit-ups, and lunges are really only a very few of the many full-body weight exercises you can do at home with literally no other equipment needed whatsoever. Just as we mentioned earlier, get creative. Ask friends and family, check the internet. Do whatever you need to do to come up with your own home-based workout routine.

Do Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness exercises are another great way to keep up a healthy lifestyle while you’re at home. They’re tailor-made for a small space and great to clear your mind and keep a healthy outlook.

Mindfulness practices range from meditation to just taking a moment to slow down and be very present in the moment. Some practices involve concentrating the mind on one very minute detail of your environment, while others focus on clearing the mind of external stimuli. Some of them are centered around different breathing exercises, some of which calm you down and some of which enhance your focus. There are plenty you can try and there are also many health benefits associated with you.

While some of the reported benefits are anecdotal, there is no shortage of them whatsoever. It’s been said that on top of improving focus and enhancing concentration and mood, that mindfulness exercises can mitigate feelings of pervasive stress, lower blood pressure, reduce pain, and even have benefits for the quality of your sleep. Do a quick search online of mindfulness exercises and find one or several you’d like to try. The best-case scenario is you start a practice you will continue throughout life, and at worst you’ve only spent a few minutes of your time.

Don’t Stop Eating Healthy

Just because your preferred catering company in Philadelphia is temporarily closed doesn’t mean you need to stop eating healthy. In fact, now is a better time than ever to commit to eating healthy and try new foods.

Doing your own cooking is something that you might not have had a lot of time for before, and if you are at home longer hours now, at least you’ll have the time and the ability to try it. Look up a recipe you’ve never tried before but wanted to. Pick up a new talent in the kitchen.

Learning to cook, or just taking it up with more vigor, is not only a way to personalize recipes to your tastes, but it’s also a great way to take control of your diet. Sometimes, accepting prepared food means having to settle for food that isn’t prepared with health in mind. That’s never the case at Waterfront Gourmet, but it is a reality of the market elsewhere. Do your own cooking and you can make your dishes as healthy as you want.

Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

We mentioned this before, but now is a more important time than ever not to fall out of touch with friends and loved ones. Moreover, interpersonal relationships are a critical piece of mental health, so you should always reserve some of your resources to devote to them.

As we also mentioned, since in today’s age we have near-constant access to the internet through our computers, phones, and even TVs, being quarantined doesn’t mean we really need to be isolated. You can easily phone or facetime a friend or a loved one now at a time when all of us need human interaction more than ever. Take some time out of your day to get in touch with the people that really matter.

There’s more to this picture. If you’re a pet parent, you’re probably getting to spend record levels of time with your beloved pets. They’re family too, and they may not understand what’s happening in the world but they do feel your presence. Take some extra time to be with your pets. Even if you only have some plants in the home, give them a little extra attention. It’s said that plants flourish with extra care and attention. If you can spare it now, give it.

We know you can’t wait for your favorite catering company in Philadelphia to reopen so you can get back to event planning and enjoying the flavors you’re used to, but while we’re closed we want you to live your best lives. Stay healthy, keep active, eat right, and keep your mind working. We’ll be here for you when we reopen.

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