No one could have foreseen the changes in our daily lives brought forth by COVID. Though nothing is as it was, there are many ways to find joy, connect with loved ones and remain upbeat. Here are a few of our team’s favorites:
1. Listen to Music: Particularly for older generations, listening to music is therapeutic and can serve as a time travel of sorts. Make playlists via free online services like Spotify and Pandora, and share with friends near and far! Taking a drive with a favorite playlist as a soundtrack can help pass time and calm your mind.
2. Read: Been meaning to make progress on that stack of books on your bedside table? Now’s the time! Many local bookstores and national organizations have started virtual book clubs; sign up to stay both accountable and social.
3. Exercise: Gyms may be closed, but taking walks and riding bikes outdoors remain options for those who enjoy the summer heat. If you’re more “indoorsy,” find a YouTube yoga tutorial. My wife and I, in between managing Aware Senior Care, use Zoom to take our favorite exercise classes from a distance. Local YMCAs and gyms are offering similar services.
4. Learn a new skill: Another great way to fill the time while staying at home is to learn a new skill. Maybe a new language or a new instrument? SkillPop has amazing classes available right now – everything from cookie decorating and painting to photography and social media 101.
5. Get a dose of culture: Take a virtual museum tour. Google’s Arts and Culture Website offers tours of museums throughout the world.
6. Try a new recipe: You may not have had the time to try Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon before, but perhaps that’s the silver lining of COVID life? Use online resources like The Great Courses Plus or The Cooking Channel to find pro tips, cooking classes and online tutorials from your favorite chefs.
7. Reach out to friends: There’s no substitute for a good chat over coffee, but we can still connect with friends from home. Revisit the lost art of writing letters. Send an email to check on friends and offer a helping hand. Try Zoom to connect with grandchildren or pals around town!
8. Send a care package: Use services like Amazon, Target or Etsy for “surprise porch-drops,” and ship a care package to someone you love. Getting an unexpected gift is a welcome reprieve from the challenges we all face right now.
9. Limit your news consumption: We’re living in a serious and uncertain time. Make a commitment to yourself to limit news consumption and channel your energy into being a positive force for your family and community alike.
We are all affected by COVID; we stand in awe at the selflessness of our community members, particularly first responders. We wish you patience, peace of mind and health during this unexpected time.
Guest columnist Tim Murray is a part of Aware Senior Care.