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A new kind of “resolution” for the New Year

I love New Year’s resolutions, and because of the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, I had plenty of time to focus on them. In 2020, I decided I might as well finally train for and run a marathon…and then because, well, I still had the extra hours in 2021, I decided to try to do…

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I love New Year’s resolutions, and because of the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, I had plenty of time to focus on them. In 2020, I decided I might as well finally train for and run a marathon…and then because, well, I still had the extra hours in 2021, I decided to try to do it again, only faster. I also resolved to give back, so I began fostering dogs (and when you already have two, trust me, it’s a challenge). My husband and I also finished remodeling our basement, turning it into a separate studio apartment.

Honestly, that’s a lot of doing. And as 2022 approaches, I think instead of using any extra time or spare motivation I have to come up with another challenge, maybe it’s time for a New Year’s non-resolution for me — a year where I focus on resting and recharging, instead of on constant doing.

I’m likely not the only one feeling this way. In 2021, search interest in “anxiety” and “therapy” reached all-time highs, as did “how to maintain mental health” and “self care ideas.” And every year, “yoga” and “journaling” spike in January. In 2022, I want to do less and focus on taking care of myself, and here are a few tools I’m going to use to do that.

Rest more

2022 is going to be my year of sleep. The Nest Hub’s new Sleep Sensing will offer a better look at the quality of sleep I’m getting, and already the message I’ve received is: Get more of it. One piece of advice Sleep Sensing has given me based on my sleeping patterns is to try and get less light in my room — and I’m going to try waking up a little less abruptly by using Nest’s Gentle Wake Up feature, which slowly brightens my lights. And in stark comparison to my running goals from the past two years, in 2022 I’m going to try and run…less. Fitbit’s Daily Readiness feature tells me when it’s time for a rest day, a reminder I definitely need. (I blame running endorphins!)

Practice mindfulness

For me, mindfulness and meditation are more difficult than jumping up to physically do something. Search has a quick fix: Search “breathing exercise” and use the one-minute meditation.

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Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google

When you think of pyramids does your mind wander to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Mayan Temples of Guatemala? Great civilizations built each of these pyramids and inscribed their stories onto the walls of them, offering glimpses into their daily life.The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan, while lesser known, are no different.…

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When you think of pyramids does your mind wander to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Mayan Temples of Guatemala? Great civilizations built each of these pyramids and inscribed their stories onto the walls of them, offering glimpses into their daily life.

The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan, while lesser known, are no different. Today, you can explore these stunning pyramids, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, on Google Arts & Culture.

Over 200 pyramids were constructed in Meroë, the third and final capital of the Kushite Kingdom, an ancient African civilization that ruled the lands of Nubia for over 3000 years. Now you can take a virtual walk through the Pyramids of Meroë and explore the inscriptions using Street View’s panoramic imagery. You can also learn more about the Kushite Kingdom, their royalty and the architecture behind the pyramids in an immersive web experience that’s available in a range of languages including Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish.

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Bay View is open — the first campus built by Google

Taking green building to a new scaleTo deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.The…

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Taking green building to a new scale

To deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.

The campus is also on track to be the largest project certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) under any of their programs, at any certification level. As part of ILFI’s Living Building Challenge, we’re targeting a Water Petal certification, meaning the site is net-positive with all non-potable water demands being met using the recycled water generated on site. Above-ground ponds that gather rainwater year round and a building wastewater treatment system serve as water sources for cooling towers, flushing toilets and irrigating the landscape. This is a big step toward delivering on our commitment to replenish 120% of the water we consume by 2030.

It doesn’t stop there. Bay View is an example of an all-electric campus and shows what’s possible in regenerative building. Here’s how:

  • The two kitchens that serve seven cafes are equipped with electric equipment rather than gas — a template for fully carbon-free cafes and kitchens.
  • There are 17.3 acres of high-value natural areas — including wet meadows, woodlands and a marsh — that are designed to reestablish native landscapes and rehabilitate Bay Area wetlands. Something that’s especially important as Bay View sits close to the San Francisco Bay.
  • The water retention ponds not only collect water for reuse, but also provide nature restoration, sea level rise protection, and access to the beauty of natural wetlands. New willow groves along the stormwater ponds provide resources for wildlife.
  • The integrated geothermal pile system will help heat and cool the campus. The massive geoexchange field is integrated into the structural system, reducing the amount of water typically used for cooling by 90% — that’s equal to five million gallons of water annually.

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Seniors search what they see, using a new Lens

“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”Seniors in a…

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“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”

Seniors in a country like Denmark are generally very tech savvy, but with digitization constantly advancing — accelerating even faster during two years of COVID-19 — some seniors risk being left behind, creating gaps between generations. During worldwide lockdowns, technological tools have helped seniors stay connected with their family and friends, and smartphone features have helped improve everyday life. One key element of that is delivering accurate and useful information when needed. And for that, typed words on a smartphone keyboard can often be substituted with a visual search, using a single tap on the screen.

Being able to “search what you see” in this way was an eye-opener to many. As the day ended, another avid participant, Henrik Rasmussen, declared he was heading straight home to continue his practice.

“I thought I was up to speed on digital developments, but after today I realize that I still have a lot to learn and discover,” he said.

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