Chances are you’re not having quite so many devastatingly low days now. You’re functioning a little better overall, but you’re still not ready to run any marathons yet or run for public office. Don’t worry about it – this recovery takes time, and it happens so subtly you may not notice it till someone else points it out. You’re probably still not eager to spend too much time outside your home, but the cyberworld provides many diversions (you can wander around it in your pajamas, and no one will know). I’ve found that things of beauty are both soothing and refreshing at this point, so that’s where we’ll start first.
- The best place to start your art cybertour is, of course, the Louvre. There is also a Louvre section at the Web Museum, Paris. This page also provides three tours of Paris.
- The State Hermitage Museum has an incredible collection, and much of it can be viewed online.
- Go to Vatican City to see Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
- You can “virtually” visit the Musee D’Orsay with their panoramic viewer.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, one of my favorite places when I lived in Boston, has a website.
- Visit The Chagall Windows, Marc Chagall’s stunning stained-glass windows depicting Jacob’s blessings to his sons, the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
- The Smithsonian Institution
- Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
- MuseumSpot is a guide to museums and other cultural information online.
- Galleria degli Uffizi
- National Gallery of Art
- Artcyclopedia is a fine art search engine.
- If modern art is your style, go to the Museum of Modern Art‘s web page.
- Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall showcases graffiti art.
- Entropy8 is an online gallery.
- The Vincent Van Gogh Information Gallery showcases his paintings and letters.
Fitness(Mental and Physical)
- Paradoxically, it’s during this time when most depressed people are beginning to feel better that some attempt suicide. This is due to the fact that while someone is profoundly depressed, they don’t have the energy or clear mental processes necessary to plan and carry out a suicide. Please remember, if you begin to have suicidal thoughts, that there are people available to help you deal with your feelings. SA\VE – Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education is a web page which provides suicide education and support.
- The philosophy behind holistic medicine, that we should treat the body as a whole entity instead of just addressing the sick “part”, is appropriate both for treating depression and for this stage in your recovery. De-stressing is important, since it will relieve the depression to some extent. To this end, think about exercising. I know it’s hard to even keep up with normal stuff, but even a half hour walking a few times a week should help. I hateto exercise, but I’ve been forcing myself to do it for the last couple of years since it makes such a difference in whether I slide back into depression during stressful times.
- You might be ready to stretch spiritually or re-discover your faith. About.com’s Religion section is a good place to start. The ORCT (Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance) page covers many aspects and issues of many different religions. Interlude: An Internet Retreat is a site with inspirational meditations, prayers and poetry. My favorite is the Native American prayers.
The World Outside
- Google Earth is addictive. Using it, you can view satellite photos of almost anywhere in the world. Some of the most popular spots are the Grand Canyon, the Lincoln Memorial, Venice and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also view the Forbidden City in exquisite detail.
- A panoramic view of the Japanese Pool at the UC Botanical Garden.
- Castles on the Web is a well-designed site of links to castles all around the world.
- Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny shows the real-life inspiration for the beautiful series of paintings.
- Discover space thanks to NASA, in their Earth Observatory and Astronomy Picture of the Day.
- Dale Coyner’s Appalachian Highways might be your cup of tea.
- The Natural History Museum site has many fascinating interactive exhibits online. I was fortunate enough to visit the real thing when I was in London.
- Graham Hawker’s journal of his Journey to Beijing depicts the trip in pictures and text.
- Earthcam is a webcam site that’s very well organized.
- Africam also has some great cams.
- Some of my favorite webcams:
- The World Heritage Tour site has 360 degree views of places like an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb and the Forbidden City in Beijing.
- Take A Tour of My Garden and look at Cheryl Netter’s beautiful roses.
- Travels with Samantha
- You can take a virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden
- You can read about the voyage of the Endeavor in the Papers of Sir Joseph Banks.
- In keeping with this page’s theme of bringing the outside world in to soothe and stimulate you, I highly recommend listening to sounds of nature, either alone or mixed with new-age music. I myself love listening to either the sounds of the ocean, to rain or a mountain stream (hard to believe I wasn’t born under a water sign!).
- The Power of Myth is a life-altering book that sprang from a series of conversations between Bill Moyers and mythologist/storyteller Joseph Campbell, and is said to have inspired George Lucas to create Star Wars.
- How about just “pretend” socializing? The Sims 2 is a game that lets you create a family or a single person. You can either make them into an anti-social loner or the life of the party. It’s very addictive.
- You’re probably not ready to meet people in real life, so how about getting to know some people online?
- Join an online community that revolves around a passion or hobby. I spend a lot of time at Ravelry, a knitting and crochet community.
- Online games are a good way to socialize without going outside. I play a Gnome Warlock, among other characters, on World of Warcraft. If you’re more of a fantasy purist, there’s Lord of the Rings Online.