In a recent newsletter we asked our subscribers to share how they are making meaningful use of the stay at home time we are all now experiencing. From catching up on to do lists to some inventive and fun new endeavors, here are some of the responses we received.
Several folks wrote that they were finally putting together their family photo albums with pictures going back, uh, several years? Decades? Others were busy scanning and digitizing their very old photos before they start yellowing and fading.
Many are cleaning out closets, garages, piles of paperwork and email inboxes. Others are busy sewing on buttons, patching jeans holes and repairing ripped seams – those which were not fashion statements to begin with.
We also heard from newsletter subscribers who were catching up on correspondence with old friends and connecting with former classmates. Some of our seniors have asked us to help them learn how to use FaceTime so they can make video calls to distant family members and others they won’t be able to visit for the foreseeable future.
Enjoying home entertainment
Movie aficionados are wearing out their favorite DVDs and streaming up a storm via Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or other movie and TV streaming services. Or binge-watching entire seasons of popular Emmy Award winning shows their friends have been telling them they must watch.
And don’t forget that you can find some free quality entertainment on YouTube. Search for some of your favorite TV episodes, documentaries and music videos.
Turning to technology
When we sent out our newsletter the first contact we received was from Barbara, who belongs to a ukulele group and wants to continue the group’s weekly jam sessions. Her request sent us online to research apps that might allow her group to play together online, each at their own computer, with everyone able to hear everyone else at the same time. We were delighted to find such apps exist, and we hope Barbara and her fellow ukulele players are now having some lively virtual jam sessions.
Others have written us asking about good apps for their smartphones – there are many great apps for meditation, exercise and games (it’s important to include play in your life), and most of these apps are free or very low cost. Next month we’ll review some of our favorite apps and let you know where and how to find and download safe ones. We’ll also let you know about some excellent YouTube video tutorials for learning and for general enjoyment.
Breathing in fresh air
If you go out for a walk, which most of us are doing more of now that our gyms are closed, you’ll likely pass neighbors and fellow seniors washing windows, cleaning out cars and tending gardens. You may also spot some colorful sidewalk chalk art encouraging you to have a lovely day and to be kind to one another.
Creating structure and setting small goals
Jay has discovered that structuring his days – by creating a daily schedule – has helped him to keep spirits up and stress at bay. This way he prioritizes time for work activities as well as time for exercise, rest and other things he (and we) enjoy.
Spending time with loved ones
One of the sweetest submissions we read was from Ann, who reports that she and her husband baked cookies together for the first time (if we could insert a heart emoji here, we would!).
And one of the things Jay and I are enjoying together is turning our little white holiday lights on, dimming the ceiling lights, and dancing in our living room. Other couples we heard from are reading to each other, making future travel plans and taking online courses together (maybe it’s time to learn a new language or start taking piano or guitar lessons?).
Weathering the storm: Do’s and don’ts
Don’t overwhelm yourself watching too much coronavirus news. Don’t isolate yourself any more than we already have to. Don’t sink.
Do be creative. Feed your muse. Be adventurous. Be as hopeful as you can be. Deepen your connections with others. Reach out and support others you know who feel alone and afraid.
Our dear client Dotty shared her daily motto with us: “Take one day at a time and enjoy that day to the best of your ability.” Thank you, Dotty.
Stay safe, healthy and hopeful.
Jacci and Jay