Explore Your Inner Universe!

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This year, BC Summer Reading Club is inviting kids across the province to Explore Our Universe as they read throughout the summer. In tandem with that, we at the Whistler Public Library are inviting people of all ages to Explore Your Inner Universe! 

Officially launching on Sunday, July 5 and running through August 22, we will be posting on a theme related to mental wellness and self-exploration. Every Sunday, there will be new activities and challenges for you to participate in, links to helpful resources, and curated lists of related content.

Themes and content will be added to this post, in our Event Calendar, and posted on our Facebook page! For the first week, since this is new for all of us, we are releasing the content a little bit early so you have more time to explore and see what Explore Your Inner Universe is all about. Check it out below!

Throughout the summer, participating in any of our online programs, meeting your personal reading goals, and/or using any of our suggested resources qualifies you to enter our weekly prize draw! Each week, email us at publicservices@whistlerlibrary.ca and let us know what you've done that week -- we will randomly select winners and contact them by email on Mondays! We would particularly love to see photos of you, your friends, and family participating - adults, this includes you, too!

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 7: Physical Wellness (August 16 to August 22)

For the final week of Explore Your Inner Universe, we're celebrating the fact that being active can help you feel better mentally and emotionally, and can improve your overall quality of life. According to HealthLink BC, regular physical activity is an important step in reducing your stress and improving your health. In fact, all of the themes we've explored this summer can help improve your physical and mental well-being; physical activity is just the last piece in the puzzle!

We live in a very active community, but that doesn't mean that everyone has found an activity they love. We hope you'll explore the resources below and find an activity that works with your lifestyle - all of the reputable organizations below agree that you'll be more likely to stick to your movement goals if you choose an activity that you genuinely enjoy.

Activities:

  • Try a new fitness class or activity

    • The Resort Municipality of Whistler is offering a great line-up of free activities in Olympic Plaza and in Lost Lake Park - check out the full line-up of fitness, yoga, breathwork, and more.

    • Meadow Park has a fun line-up of outdoor and online classes this summer! Their outdoor sessions are first come, first served, so make sure to show up a few minutes early - all classes meet in the Meadow Park parking lot.

  • Challenge yourself to go for a walk or bike ride every day this week.

  • Stay hydrated! Challenge yourself to drink 3 litres of water every day (more if it’s hot out!).

 

Resources:

  • WPL KIDS -- Explore Your Inner Universe: Physical Wellness

  • Explore our list of resources for adults that will help you get started with yoga, running, stretching, lifting, cycling, and more.

  • Starting on August 17, Meadow Park will be re-opening some of its indoor facilities! There are new regulations in place to ensure the safety of the public and staff, so make sure to visit their website before planning your trip to the gym. 

  • Remember the Canada Fitness Test? Here is a link to the original test for students - if you're of a certain age, you'll remember it!  Why not take the test again?  

  • The Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines are broken down by age and other life stages - you can explore this resource for recommendations of how much you should be moving every day.

  • HealthLink BC has a great list of physical activity guidelines, which will be especially helpful if you are just getting started with your physical wellness journey. This resource includes safety reminders for those looking to increase strength and flexibility, tips for goal setting, and even suggestions for incorporating movement into your workday.

    • There is also a similar Canada-wide document, the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. We particularly love the activities suggested for each age group in this resource - it's a great reminder that you can be active without going to the gym every day or running a marathon!

  • Physical Literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility to be active for life.  For more information, check out the Canadian Physical Literacy Guide.

  • Did you know that your library card gets you access to thousands of online video tutorials taught by experts on Lynda.com? Log in with your library card number and pin, then search for any of these awesome classes:

    • Chair Work: Yoga Fitness and Stretching at Your Desk

    • Computer and Text Neck Stretching Exercises

    • De-stress: Meditation and Movement for Stress Management

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 6: Creativity (August 9 to August 15)

Leaning into our favourite creative activities has been proven to boost our moods and help us manage our mental wellbeing. When we immerse ourselves in a creative pursuit, we are often able to enter a state of flow - essentially, we become so absorbed in this activity we are able to slow our thoughts and calm our heart rate, an effect that is very similar to meditation. It has even been shown that participating in repetitive artistic tasks (like knitting for instance) causes the reward centres in our brains to release dopamine, effectively elevating our moods. Activities like writing, journaling, and painting can help us to work through and express our emotions and are often used in art therapy to help people process trauma.

This week we are encouraging you to make space for your creative activity of choice, check out our resources list to try something new to support your mental wellness, or go experience some local creativity to get inspired! Keep in mind, it is the process of expressing your creativity, and not the product of it, that helps your brain to feel its best - perfection is not required!

 

Activities:

  • The Resort Municipality of Whistler is hosting musicians and artists around the Valley every weekend this summer! Visit the RMOW's Facebook page to check out the line-up of artists and locations or check out whistler.ca for the full line-up of summer programs. The weekend of August 15-16 will feature Andrea Mueller and Vanessa Stark.

  • There are still two weeks of Crafts from the Park remaining this summer! If you'd like to catch up on our past activities, you can visit the Whistler Museum's website to view all of the videos and access the supply lists.

  • Try a new craft or art form - see our resources list for tips and tricks on how to get started. Already learned something new during quarantine? We would love to hear about it! Send us pictures of your artistic ventures at publicservices@whistlerlibrary.ca!

 

Resources:

  • WPL KIDS -- Explore Your Inner Universe: Creativity 
  • The Audain Art Museum is open again! Visit their beautiful space Thursdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    • This spring, the Audain hosted a virtual series called Tuesday Night Talks, in which Dr. Curtis Collins, Director & Chief Curator, spoke with artists featured in the Audain's permanent collection. You can listen to recordings of each of these conversations.

  • Visit the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre Thursdays through Sundays! The SLCC is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and they're offering extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    • Every Thursday this summer, you can join SLCC Ambassador Sutikem Bikadi of the Lil'wat Nation as she works on traditional regalia - this livestream takes place on the SLCC's Facebook page at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. 
    • Check out the SLCC's first ever temporary exhibitSqātsza7 Tmicw – Father Land, displaying a collection of art pieces that showcase the multi-disciplinary genres of Ed Archie NoiseCat that include limited edition print, woodcarving, metalwork glasswork and handcrafted jewellery. This exhibit opens on August 12 for Squamish and Lil'wat Nation members, and August 13 for the general public.
  • Local theatre company Between Shifts Theatre has produced a series of virtual plays called The Zoom Chronicles. You can find them all in this YouTube playlist - these plays contain adult content!

  • Did you know that your library card gets you access to thousands of online video tutorials taught by experts on Lynda.com? Log in with your library card number and pin, then search for any of these awesome classes:
    • Creativity for All Weekly
    • Painting Foundations: Creating Palettes for the Landscape 
    • Drawing Fundations: Fundamentals
    • Ukulele Lessons: Fundamentals
    • Photography 101
    • 21- Day Creative Exercise Desk Challenge
    • Creative Exercises to Spark Original Thinking

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 5: Eating Well (August 2 to August 8)

Food! We all need it, but did you know that it can have an impact on our mental as well as our physical health? This week we encourage you to explore different ways of cooking and eating to help you get the nutrients you need to feel your best. Check out our resources list for cooking inspiration and instruction, local and national resources for nutrition information and support, information on how to access our local food bank if you need, and much more! 

 

Activities:

  • Join our new Cookbook Club! The first meeting is on Wednesday, August 5 at 7 p.m., and we'll be discussing Plant-Based Cookbooks. Email jbruce@whistlerlibrary.ca to sign up or to let us know that you're interested in future sessions.

  • Make your meal into a artistic masterpiece and share a photo with us! Explore basic food plating techniques (like you would see in a fancy restaurant) or create some fun food art to encourage little ones to eat their fruits and veggies.

  • The “raisin” challenge: choose a piece of food you eat with your hands and eat it as slowly and mindfully as possible. Examples of foods to try: grapes, popcorn, etc. Describe in detail the taste, texture, temperature and amount of time it took you to savour your food. Try to do as much as possible with your eyes closed!

  • Try a new recipe! Make something you’ve never made before and tell us all about it. Check out our lists below for cookbook inspiration.

 

Resources:

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 4: Rest & Relaxation (July 26 to August 1)

As human beings we are designed to need rest and sleep in order to function. Yet with our busy schedules and other stressors, sometimes it can be really hard to take the rest we need and regularly get good sleep. It has been shown that poor sleep has negative effects on both our physical and mental wellbeing. This week, we are encouraging you to slow down and think about rest as a crucial part of your day: take breaks, practice good sleep hygiene, and maybe even take a nap! Check out our resource list below for links to helpful information.

 

Activities:

  • Start a dream journal
  • #napchallenge -- This week if you’re feeling tired during the day, take a nap! Check out this article from the Sleep Foundation for tips and info on napping: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/napping
  • This week challenge yourself to maintain a sleep schedule -- go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. (You can also try a sleep journal to improve your sleep schedule)
  • Try out any of these technology sleep hacks:
    1. Don’t look at screens for an hour or two before sleep

    2. Check the settings on your devices and see if you can set them to turn off blue light in the evenings

    3. Turn on “Do not disturb” on your phone before bed so notifications don’t disturb your sleep

    4. Put your phone to “sleep” away from your bedroom

 

Resources:

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 3: Social Connection (July 19 to 25)

Did you know that connecting with others is good for our health? At a time when we need to stay physically distant, it is more important than ever to maintain our social connections. Investing time in our positive, supportive, social connections can reduce anxiety, stress hormones, and lower blood pressure. Beyond these health benefits, social connections help us develop our communication skills and empathy! This week we encourage you to reach out to the important people in your life and connect. If you’re looking to meet some new people, check out our resources list for some fun programs to join in on!

 

Activities:

  • Write a letter, postcard, or send a message to someone you care about
  • Go on a physically distanced walk with a friend or family member

 

Resources:

  • Did you know that Library programs are a great way to connect with people, even online? Here are a few upcoming events with a social component:

    • Alphabet Soup, Whistler's LGBTQ+ group, is meeting on Wednesday, July 22 at 5 p.m. This session is an opportunity to make friendships and build community while sharing some fun activities as well as resources, ideas, successes, and challenges. Join the event here.

    • Parent Infant Drop-In (Thursdays at 11 a.m.) provides a chance for new parents to connect and hear from a local guest speaker. Email youthservices@whistlerlibrary.ca to sign up!

    • Journaling with Jules is a one-hour workshop that provides an opportunity to connect with others to explore the practice and elements of journaling. The next session is coming up on Monday, July 27 at 7 p.m. - email jbruce@whistlerlibrary.ca to sign up.

    • Our Community Book Club, in partnership with Armchair Books, meets on the last Wednesday of every month, and all (adult) readers are welcome! This month's book is Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Email jbruce@whistlerlibrary.ca to join the meeting on July 29 at 7 p.m. 

  • Check out our list of resources for adults looking to create social connection

  • We've got a great selection of children's books about friendship and the importance of connection

  • If we haven't convinced you of the importance of social connection, check out what the Canadian Mental Health Association has to say here: Social Connection is the Cure

  • Did you know that your library card gets you access to thousands of online video tutorials taught by experts on Lynda.com? Log in with your library card number and pin, then search for any of these awesome classes:

    • Advice for Leaders During a Crisis: Importance of Social Connections

    • Learning Zoom

    • Learning Skype

    • FaceTime Tutorials

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 2: Being in Nature (July 12 to 18)

As people lucky enough to live, learn and play in the Sea to Sky Corridor, many of us know how wonderful it feels to get outside and enjoy nature. Did you know that being outside has been proven to have positive effects on our mental health? Even just taking a short nature walk can reduce stress and negative thoughts; some studies have even shown that walking in nature can reduce blood pressure and stress hormones! Beyond that, the soothing effects of fresh air and beautiful scenery can go a long way towards helping us feel our best, and being in nature gives us a chance to take a break away from screens and move our bodies. This week we have activities and resources to help support your mental and physical wellness by being in nature!

Activities:

Resources:

  • Check out our list of resources for adults, including novels, memoirs, and guides for the great outdoors

  • Share your love of nature with the kids in your life by exploring our nature resources for children

  • The Whistler Museum's Discover Nature program is back this summer! Discover Nature will be visiting different parks around Whistler this summer - visit the Museum's website to find the schedule.

  • Did you know that your library card gets you access to thousands of online video tutorials taught by experts on Lynda.com? Log in with your library card number and pin, then search for any of these awesome classes:

    • Infrared Photography: Nature and Landscapes

    • Wildlife Photography: Nature Preserve

    • The Employee’s Guide To Sustainability 

 

Explore Your Inner Universe Week 1: Mindfulness & Meditation (July 5 to 11)

You have probably heard a lot about the benefits of mindfulness, especially over the past few months. Committing to a mindfulness practice has been shown to improve our overall health, reduce stress, and boost our resilience helping us to better manage in difficult situations. Below are activities and resources to help you find the mindfulness practice that works for you. We encourage you to try incorporating mindfulness into your routine this week and beyond!

Activities:

Resources:

  • Check out our list of books, apps, podcasts and more for adults

  • We also have great books, websites, and videos for kids and parents to enjoy together

  • Have you heard of the Sea to Sky Healing ProjectThis curated toolkit includes resources and recommendations from locals you might recognize, all brought together to support mental health. Take a look at their Calm section for their suggested resources for Mindfulness and Meditation!

  • Did you know that your library card gets you access to thousands of online video tutorials taught by experts on Lynda.com? Log in with your library card number and pin, then search for any of these awesome Mindfulness/Meditation classes:
    • Mindfulness Practices
    • Practicing mindfulness: It’s not all about meditation
    • Using Your Mind to Change Your Brain
    • Meditations to Change Your Brain 
    • Mindful Meditations for Work and Life
    • Behavioural Science Insights, on How to Have a Good Day, Everyday
    • The Mindful Workday 

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