From virtual museum tours to setting up home offices: What we’re looking forward to this week, March 23-29

This week, the Northern Virginia Magazine editorial team is looking forward to entertaining ourselves at home and learning how to be productive remotely.

at home work station
Photo by Alexa Williams

This story appears in our weekly Things to Do newsletter, sent to subscribers every Monday. Get it in your inbox by signing up here.

By Katie BiancoJess FeldmanHolly GambrellMichele Kettner and Jennifer Zeleski

I’ve got nature on the brain
With cherry blossoms blooming everywhere, it’s hard to not think about nature and spring right now. Daydreaming about warm weather, pretty flowers and the sweet fragrance of the season is also a great way to escape the anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic—at least for a few minutes. A lot of events around town are still canceled and social distancing has become the norm. As a result, I’ve been entertaining myself at home, including taking virtual tours of museums. My recommendation for other nature lovers out there: Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Garden exhibit. Find it here, and remember to take a deep breath this week. -Holly Gambrell, Digital Editor

Sweating out the stress
hile I love exercising on my own, I have never been one for class-based workouts. My regular fitness regimen consists of full-body workouts with headphones in, all distractions away in the weight room at Gold’s Gym, which sadly has closed all of its Virginia locations. Until my home base reopens, I am going to take advantage of this weird time and get out of my comfort zone. Thankfully, local fitness studios are making it easy to do just that with workouts I can stream from the comfort of my home, some of which are even free. I’ll be joining 45-minute yoga flows with Yoga Works on my lunch breaks and try my hand at Pilates, courtesy of Mind the Mat Yoga & Pilates’, on the weekend. The best part? My home is a judgement-free zone. -Jess Feldman, Editorial Assistant 

Learning from afar
My kids have been officially out of school since last Monday and, like most parents, I’m already struggling to find ways to keep them engaged. Luckily, in response to our new normal of social distancing, lots of organizations are now offering virtual ways to support children in their learning endeavors. Children’s author Mo Willems (who is also The Kennedy Center’s Education Artist-in-Residence) is offering a daily lunchtime doodle class. PBS Kids launched a daily newsletter to give parents fresh ideas. And the Smithsonian has a wealth of resources for virtual learning. Whatever ages your kids are, I’m wishing you solidarity in homeschooling. Let’s all take a deep breath (from a safe distance) and get through this together.
 -Katie Bianco, Editor 

Work, work, work, work, work, work
I’ve only been working from home for a week and let me tell you, it is a struggle. Yes, I love being able to spend the hour that would be my commute in bed and wearing my pajamas with no judgement, but those home distractions are always calling (especially my two pups who constantly remind me to take a break to go outside). While I have been able to get through those distractions with the help of my headphones, it is the uncomfortable work space that is killing my productivity. Within the first three days of being home, I had to change my working spot three times and learned that no chair in my house is comfortable for more than an hour. Since the country’s plan of self-isolating and social distancing don’t seem to be ending soon, I’m going to take the time to set up a true home office. Everything from a new chair with back support and cushioning to a convertible desk will put me in the right mindset and help me focus on work. -Michele Kettner, Editorial Assistant

Please, keep ordering take out
I’m currently sitting at my kitchen table. It’s my new-and-improved workspace since I don’t have a desk to telework from, but it’ll do. But what won’t do is how much I’m thinking about the inevitable this week. There’s no easy way to put it: Local restaurants across the region—and around the world—are hurting. They’re closing their doors; they’re laying off employees. I’ve received countless emails, have read miles-long social media threads and have had tearful conversations with local restaurant owners this week. So, I ask you, kind readers, please order takeout this weekend. Call up your favorite restaurant, tell them how much you love the staff and the food, and support your favorite places. You can join me, at my kitchen table for the time being, still enjoying the meals we all hope to come back to soon in the restaurants’ dining rooms. Jennifer Zeleski, Editorial Assistant 

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