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Six ways to broaden your mind wider than social distance requirements 

Your body might be atrophying on the couch but your brain doesn't have to.

click to enlarge Roxanne Smith's The Mirror is one of many local artworks you can get up close and e-personal with by viewing Teichert Gallery's new, online-only showcase. - ROXANNE SMITH PHOTO
  • Roxanne Smith's The Mirror is one of many local artworks you can get up close and e-personal with by viewing Teichert Gallery's new, online-only showcase.
  • Roxanne Smith photo
So here you are, googling work-from-home hacks; making your own sourdough starter; generally trying to figure out what our new normal looks like as the province enters a state of emergency and COVID-19 continues to shake our world. You're bored or busy with remote work or maybe both. Time has never felt more like a construct.

How do you stop the days bleeding into each other as you self-isolate? How do you fill the time as your social calendar is scrubbed clean? What is left to do when you've swum so far into the depths of Netflix you need to come up for air?

You feed your brain. You engage with culture, even if it's through a screen because that's what life right now demands. You breathe deep, open a new browser tab, and enrich your self-quarantined life. Here are some ideas from 
learning to sing, to virtually  visiting a gallery  to get you started:

Learn to sing with Arsoniste
The Halifax-based alt-pop singer-songwriter has the sort of floaty voice that feels like gossamer on your eardrums. Now, she's helping you work your pipes, too, teaching online voice and piano lessons during COVID-19. Email or DM her on Instagram to start your own musical journey. Rates start at $45.

See the world thanks to the Google Arts & Culture app
A free way to see thousands of iconic artworks and landmarks from around the world, up close and personal thanks to the detail-enriching zoom feature. Swipe through New York's best street art, take a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower, project famous paintings onto your wall to recreate the gallery experience and much more. Download it through the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Connect with local art thanks to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Teichert Gallery
To give you a daily dose of creative excellence, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is treating COVID-19 as a chance to acquaint its social media following with works from its permanent collections. Follow the gallery on Facebook so you can see vital works ranging from Maud Lewis' country scenes to Leonard Paul's landscapes.

Teichert Gallery, meanwhile, has taken its most recent exhibit, Halifax Art Map: Art OFF The Map completely online so you can see piece by artists living in the city.

Check out something new from the library
As we reported Friday, Halifax Public Libraries has made it possible for you to apply for a library card electronically. This means a whole world of books, magazines and more has just opened up for you to download to your device of choice. There are also options to learn another language or pick up a new skill like photography or coding. Read more here.

Dive into the deeps with The Ocean School
The Ocean School has launched a free crop of daily online activities aimed at the Grade 7 to 9 set but, tbh, we think this e-learning course will help adult ocean lovers feel satiated with tidbits like a 360 degree video about why sharks are awesome and more. Get started here.

Learn a new language with Duolingo
The lil' green owl is back to help you learn French, Spanish or one of 30 other languages through a mix of quizzes, questions and the new stories feature, where you read and listen along to slice-of-life situations in your soon-to-be second language. The app reported last week a record-breaking uptick in users as COVID-19 continues, adding more new features are on the way. Download it for free through the Apple App Store or Google Play.

And, as always: Keep washing your hands. Wipe commonly used surfaces. Stay home if you feel sick. Check 811 to see if you qualify for testing—if you're sick but don't qualify, stay home anyways. If you feel sick, don't go to work—and be kind to those who have to. 

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