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Virtual Stress Relief: Guilty Pleasures

Virtual stress relief from Eckerd College Library.

Embrace Your Guilty Pleasures

Shira Gabriel, associate professor of psychology for University of Buffalo, explains how embracing your guilty pleasures can help relieve the stresses of social distancing.

Below find a collection of guilty pleasures to spend some time on!

Cooking and Baking

cookies

Epicurious

Who doesn't love a good cookie? Nothing beats the smell of delicious cookies baking in the kitchen. There are so many recipes to choose from, where do you begin? Epicurious has aggregated the 107 best cookie recipes and we're here for it! Which one will you try?

Image attribution: Photo by Chealsea Kyle, Food Styling by Kat Boytsova

 

Baker's hands brushing off flour over bread dough

Peaceful Cuisine

If you're seeking calm and tranquil videos, give Peaceful Cuisine a try. These videos are a great way to focus on the sights and sounds of cooking. Warning: you may finish a video with a sense of calm, but you may also be hungry.

Image attribution: "Baked Baking Chef Dough" by Malidate Van from Pexels

Four macarons in purple, pink, orange and green stacked on a table

NYT Cooking

The New York Times Cooking channel on YouTube has both aspirational and quarantine-pantry friendly recipes. Using your time to get your pantry in order? They have a video for that as well!

Image attribution: "Four Macaroons" by Arminas Raudys from Pexels

Hand holds a slice of bread toasted and decorated to resemble a dog's face

Tasty

You can't go wrong with Tasty's collection of cooking videos--everything from Make It Fancy using popular canned goods to trying out a 140-year-old cake recipe.

Image attribution: "Slice of Loaf Bread with Dog Face" by Buenosia Carol from Pexels

A pale brown sweet tart in a pan is broken and crumbling on a dark blue surface

You Suck At Cooking

Cooking not really your thing, but quarantine's forcing you to fend for yourself? You Suck At Cooking might be able to help with some no-frills recipes to get you through!

Image attribution: "Sweet tart crust fail" by Joy licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bird Watching

An American Robin sits on the branch of a tree

Cornell All About Birds

This online bird guide can help you identify birds and learn more about them from Cornell University. Check out Merlin on their site or the mobile app to help you identify the birds you see.

Image attribution: "American Robin" by Becky Matsubara licensed under CC BY 2.0

American crow on pavement in front of greenery

National Audubon Society Guide to North American Birds

Looking to use your quarantine time to befriend your local murder of crows?

Learn more about them and other local birds through the National Audubon Society's Guide!

Image attribution: "American Crow" by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren licensed under CC BY 2.0

Black capped chickadee sits on a tree branch in the rain

WhatBird

Another option to visually identify birds you have spotted is WhatBird. Their forums are also active with fellow birders.

Image attribution: "Black-capped Chickadee" by Minette Layne licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Pop Some Bubble Wrap

Pop some virtual bubble wrap here (requires Flash player). There are also a ton of bubble-popping apps available for your phone...just saying!

bubble wrap

BuzzFeed Quizzes

BuzzFeed Quizzes: There isn't much more distracting than a good BuzzFeed quiz. Or a not-so-great BuzzFeed quiz.

Try this collection of 17 relaxing quizzes for a start. They can even help you with the hard decisions in life like which throwback TV show to watch

Coloring Fun

ColoringBook.pics

We used to have a coloring table in the library, but we had to remove it as we were rethinking our space in COVID times. That doesn't mean you can't invest in an adult coloring book or have some fun coloring online. It's been shown to reduce stress!

Check out this website for online coloring fun.

Check out Amazon for coloring books you can order.

 

Streaming TV and Movies

Looking for a free streaming service? Crackle and Tubi are just two options for you.

Eckerd Library offers Kanopy Streaming Video at no cost. And you can always visit the library to check out a DVD or Blu-Ray.

Anime fan or just at the point where you'll watch anything? Try a free-level Crunchyroll account.

Still looking to check out some of the subscription services? This Mashable article goes through many of them and how long free trials are for each.

 

Magnetic Poetry

Channel your inner Shakespeare and try some online magnetic poetry. Various poetry kits are available for play. This is sure to be addicting!