Last year brought sweeping challenges few anticipated. In the midst of learning to cope with a global pandemic, Americans faced many changes to day-to-day life. Some people lost their jobs, and others adapted to working-from-home scenarios or the need to find new child care solutions.
Many graduations, proms, athletic events, and holiday gatherings with friends and family were canceled, and vacation plans were postponed. The list of losses was long for many. While still adapting to challenges such as those from 2020, it’s easy to feel yourself fall into a rut, especially in the winter months when days are shorter, darker, and colder.
Veronica Woodall, who works with the Jackson County Council on Aging, has seen the effect the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the local senior community. For example, before the pandemic and its associated restrictions, seniors could pick up hot to-go meals. Now, they receive shelf-stable meals every two weeks.
“Life has drastically changed for seniors,” Woodall says. “People used to come daily to eat and socialize, but none of that is available to them.”
With so much changing in the world, keep in mind that mental and physical health remains important. Here are some tips to hopefully keep your time at home a little more productive during the new year:
Keep Your Mind Busy
Doing activities like jigsaw and crossword puzzles help keep your mind sharp. Set a goal to read a specific number of books each month, and put aside time each day to read. Card games and board games are also good options for entertainment and mind stimulation.
Stay Motivated with At-Home Workouts
There are plenty of online resources for workouts that don’t require gym equipment. Incorporating stretching, yoga, or body-weight resistance training will vastly improve your mood and release endorphins.
Take a walk every day, whether it be in your neighborhood or around a local walking trail. When temperatures are mild enough, the sunshine and fresh air can better your mood. If you aren’t able to walk long distances, set an alarm for every couple of hours and walk to the end of your driveway and back.
Establish a Productive Morning Routine
Instead of rolling over in bed and hitting your snooze button for the third time, get up and start your day like you would if you were reporting to work pre-COVID. Establishing a morning routine sets your day up to be productive and successful.