Thank goodness, when some of us have run out of things to do while sheltering-in-place, fellow boomers have come up with something we hadn’t thought of. That’s what we like about this piece by journalist and author Julie Gorges of Palm Desert, California. She has had no trouble filling her own days.
As my husband said the other day, “Waking up to another day in Coronaville.”
It fills our lives: “coronavirus,” “pandemic,” “shelter-in-place,” “COVID-19,” “social distancing,” “self-quarantine,” “stay-at-home,” “lockdown.”
To think just a couple of months ago these words were not part of our everyday vocabulary. It fills our lives, it fills our world.
We baby boomers— specifically those 60 and older— well, it turns out we’re the susceptible ones likely to become seriously ill from this virus. Although we felt young, tough, and invincible when we first heard about the pandemic and were reluctant to give up our active social lives, it seems like boomers are finally taking note. And that’s a good thing. The saying, “Better safe than sorry,” has never been truer.
So, what can you do if you’re stuck at home to get your mind off all this mayhem? Are you sick by now of cleaning your house, doing puzzles, and watching Netflix?
Here are a few things I’ve discovered to stay sane:
- Turns out that lying in bed, eating junk food, lounging around in my PJs all day, or binge-watching mindless TV only made me feel worse. Get up, shower, brush your teeth, put some nice clothes on. Put structure into your day with some goals to achieve. You’ll feel better and it’ll help you keep a positive outlook.
- Feeling stressed? Be sure and read something spiritual and inspirational each day. I still take walks, cycle, and hike trails— if you can, you should too, keeping a safe six feet or more from everyone else and wearing a mask, of course. Literally, I can feel the stress melt away. Nature combined with exercise calms. Pray. Practice deep breathing. Try using an app like Calm or Headspace.
- Take time to savor the small moments. Even during lockdown, you can step outside to enjoy the sound of a bird singing, the smells after a rainstorm, or the beauty of a sunset. Savor simple things like the first spring day in your garden or that first sip of coffee.
- I feel so fortunate to be a writer, which has served as therapy throughout my life. Tap into your muse. Keep a journal, write a poem, start a blog. Begin the great American novel that’s been dancing around in your head. Start that memoir or family history. You’ll be amazed at how fast time flies by. What if you hate writing? Try some other creative outlet. Paint, create jewelry, sing, or put on some 60s music and dance.
- Look for ways to help others. I’m part of a sign language congregation and have been privileged to help deliver food donations. There are so many simple ways to help others during these tough times. Reach out to someone you know who suffers from depression or anxiety. Put an inspirational and encouraging sign in your window or leave a positive message in chalk on your sidewalk. Be kind to grocery store workers on the front line.
Try using these tips and remember, we boomers have lived through a lot and are a resilient bunch. We’ll get to the other side together.
Julie’s latest book is, “Ten Secrets to Losing Weight After 50.”