The holiday celebrations looked a lot different for most people this season. However, something that hasn’t changed is the opportunity to welcome a new year. Because 2020 presented so many unique challenges, ranging from unprecedented political strife to a global health pandemic, many people are ready to move ahead. If you are looking for a fresh start in 2021, you aren’t alone.
Even during calmer times, many people see January as a month to reflect and renew. If you aren’t someone who believes in setting new year’s resolutions, just think back on the highs and lows of the previous 12 months. These suggestions can help you get started.
A Time of Renewal
- Reflect but don’t regret: What left you feeling joyful and what experiences do you hope never to repeat? Take some quiet time to think back over the past year. Reflecting may give you a chance to consider what matters most. This can be beneficial as you move forward, but focusing on regrets isn’t. Don’t be hard on yourself about past missteps, especially if there isn’t anything you can do to change the outcome.
- Establish priorities: It can be easy to put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, especially if you are a family caregiver. If you find yourself short-tempered or quick to anger, it might be a sign you need to attend to your own well-being a little more. Take some time to consider what is missing in your self-care. And make a plan to include more activities or interactions that feed your spirit.
- Evaluate lifestyle: Healthy habits, such as exercise, sleep, and a good diet, are important at every age. For older adults, they are even more essential. Did the forced confinement caused by COVID-19 cause you to develop some unhealthy habits, such as sitting too much? Has your diet suffered? Are you sleeping too much or too little? Take an honest look at your lifestyle and identify opportunities for improving it.
- Out with the old: When your closets are stuffed full of clothes you rarely wear and the kitchen cabinets are messy and full of outdated items, life can wear you down. Many people don’t realize how much a chaotic environment can cause stress. By clearing your home of unwanted items, you can lighten your load. Start in one room of the house and continue working until every closet, drawer, and cupboard has been cleaned out. Set up boxes labeled, “trash,” “keep,” and “donate” to organize items as you go.
- Stay connected: It’s common for older adults in colder parts of the country to spend more time isolated at home. And concerns about exposure to the coronavirus are making the situation even worse. Staying connected to family and friends is important for the mind and spirit. If you aren’t already doing so, take advantage of free online platforms like Skype and Zoom. You can video chat with those you love on a regular basis. While it’s not the same as being together, it’s a good alternative.
A Healthy 2021
If one of the changes you’d like to make in 2021 is to improve your diet, you will find some helpful information in our Nutrition & Recipe resources. From heart healthy grocery shopping tips to creative meal ideas for single seniors, we encourage you to stop back often.