We Are All In This Together: Please share this message with your volunteers

Senior Corps

April 3, 2020 

We Are All In This Together: Tips on Staying Healthy, Active, and Engaged at Home

Let me start out by saying, as I said a week ago “We are all in this together” and we will get through this together. I am working from home, and am staying safe and healthy by staying in my home, and I encourage you to do the same. 

As I told you in the last email, your health and safety is my number one priority. That priority remains the same, so as a reminder, it is important that you continue to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control at CDC’s website and your local public health guidelines by staying at home to protect your health. 

“Safe volunteering” is important, so to those of you who can do some form of tele-volunteering, I thank you for your continued service. For the remainder of you, like my husband and me, you are probably starting to get that closed-in feeling.

In my last email I said I would send you ideas to stay connected, stay healthy, and of activities you might do in this unprecedented time. Well, I’m using this message to help remedy that closed-in feeling. Let’s simply engage ourselves in some fun activities. After all, fun and joy are also necessary for our overall well-being and can even help stimulate our brains, especially if we’re learning something new. While we’re stuck inside, let’s play some games and/or participate in other enjoyable activities. Below are some ideas for some of our old favorite games, mixed with suggestions for other activities. So, let’s do this! 

  1. Play board games: If you’re at home you’re with other family members, challenge them to a game that requires you to outwit your opponent like checkers, backgammon, mahjong, or chess. Show them who’s clever!
  2. Card games: Play Solitaire if you’re alone, or if you have partners try Gin Rummy, Bridge, Crazy Eights, Spades, Canasta, Go Fish, or Old Maid 
  3. Cook: Many people find cooking and baking therapeutic. Find some old recipes you love and create healthy versions of them, or create new healthy recipes. Share them over the phone with your friends and neighbors
  4. Reminisce: Go through all those old family photos that you have laying around. Think about those wonderful occasions and look at how you dressed then as opposed to the kind of clothing you now wear
  5. Exercise: Keep moving! Get up and walk around your house or apartment every hour or so. Also remember that there are television and web versions of exercise classes for older adults. You can do Tai chi with Regis Philbin! Check your local television listings to find the dates and times, and don't forget to check YouTube for web-based fitness 
  6. Brain Games: Pick-up a crossword puzzle or play some online word and number games. There are many that can be downloaded for free
  7. Sing: Even if, like me, you can’t carry a tune, singing is known to have health benefits. It helps to stimulate your circulation and boosts your immune system 
  8. Listen to music: Again, research suggests that listening to music helps to elevate your mood, reduces stress and increases happiness.
  9. Spring Clean: Now is a great to clean out those closets that you’ve been meaning to get to, and rid yourself of those items that you no longer want or can no longer wear
  10. Play Video games: Some of us may have an old game console around (Nintendo/Play Station/Xbox). If not, you can download video games to your smartphone and laptop or tablet, if you have one. I like the word game “Words with Friends” which you can play with anyone from around the world. RUZZLE is another good word game. AARP has several online games for older adults, many of them can also be downloaded for free
  11. Garden: If you have a yard, now is a good time to fertilize your plants and flowers. If not, you might consider doing some inside planting in pots and keeping them on your window sill
  12. Create a Journal: You can start a gratitude journal by writing down all that you have in life that you are grateful for, or write down your feelings and how you are going to overcome the negative ones
  13. Host a virtual family dinner: Gather family members on Face Time and have dinner together
  14. Laugh: Remember that old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine?” Well, it turns out, that it’s true. Research shows that in times of uncertainty, laughter helps to calm us and ease our tensions. It also increases our oxygen circulation and stimulates our lungs, muscles, and heart, providing yet another boost to our immune system. So, while we’re reminiscing, cooking, and playing games, let’s just remember to Laugh!

Senior Corps priority is YOU. My father always told me to make the best of any situation and we can all do just that.  Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home and remember…WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!