Spotlight on Seniors: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Mind, Body, & Spirit

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 2020 and 2021 brought us more than their fair share of challenges. As we move into 2022 with a sense of renewed vitality, here are some resolution ideas to inspire your mind, nourish your body, and nurture your spirit.

1. Join an online book club

Reading opens us up to whole new worlds. Whether you enjoy a good mystery, a suspenseful thriller, a sweet romance, or an educational work of non-fiction, books enrich us on many levels. If eyesight poses a challenge, books on tape or recorded online in digital format are a great option. Many libraries offer physical books, books on tape, and digital books to download. Simply conduct an internet search for “online book club” or check out these recommendations from AARP.

2. Keep a food diary

Do you know how many calories you’re consuming at each meal or during each day? For those of us who are prone to mindless snacking, many of us have no idea how many extra calories are creeping into our diets. Keeping a daily food journal can help by making you aware of how much you’re eating and what types of foods you’re selecting to fuel your body. Logging your intake also helps to ensure that you’re getting the proper balance of fruits, vegetables, carbs, protein, dairy, and fats.

3. Explore new music

When was the last time you listened to your favorite song or artist? When was the last time you heard a new song or discovered a new band? Music has the capacity to feed our souls and match or affect our moods. It can be upbeat and energizing, bluesy and melancholy, or classical and relaxing. If you don’t have a stereo system, you can still access music on the internet (YouTube is one of many free and publicly available outlets) and some cable tv providers even have music channels dedicated to specific genres.

4. Take up daily mind-sharpening games

There are so many fun ways to play games and keep your mind sharp at the same time. For puzzle lovers, there are crosswords and Sudoku. For word game lovers, jumbles and word finds are great options. To sharpen memory, matching games and Mahjong fit the bill. All of these games can be played independently, using books, the newspaper, or in digital formats online or on your computer. Not only are these great ways to stimulate the brain, these games are also fun and satisfying.

5. Walk for 20 minutes, 3 times a week

We’ve all been told that sitting is the new smoking, and endless hours spent in our seats is very bad for our health. While health professionals recommend walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, the key to establishing a new habit is to start slowly and in a way that is manageable. Try for 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week to start, if approved by your doctor. Once this becomes a habit that sticks, you can work your way up from there. If you need to start slower, then adjust the time and frequency to whatever you feel you can successfully achieve. Remember, any step you take is a step in the right direction.

For those who are concerned about building stamina or muscle strength, a button alarm is a great option to help you get started on the road to better health without the worry.

6. Schedule time to connect with friends and family

We’ve all lived with some degree of isolation since the pandemic began. Socializing is good for the heart, both literally and figuratively. Schedule time each week to talk to loved ones, whether they be cherished friends or family members. Pick up the phone, invite someone over for tea, meet someone at church, make a video call—whatever form of connection works for you.

7. Try something new each week

As we get older, we have a tendency to become creatures of habit. We know what we enjoy doing and we do what we enjoy. When was the last time you tried something new? It could be something as simple as testing out a new recipe, or as challenging as taking an online class in a subject you’ve always been interested in. Perhaps you might explore a new genre of tv show, book, movie, or music that diverges from your usual tastes. The world is full of endless options, and variety is the spice of life. You may end up discovering something you love.

As you expand your thinking and your horizons, consider doing something new for yourself. Many older adults cherish their independence and refuse to allow that they are slowing down a bit. Some seniors have fallen or have health conditions. Some seniors live alone with no one around to help if anything should happen. A personal emergency response system assures that should any emergency of any type occur, someone is on standby 24/7/365 to assist. These devices actually support and enhance senior independence.

8. Count your blessings

One of the keys to happiness and contentment is appreciating the good things we have instead of focusing on the things we don’t have. Expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to boost one’s mood. Life is a series of peaks and valleys, and even when we’re feeling low “in the gap,” we can have the assurance that the next “mountaintop moment” is coming.

9. Write letters

Many of us had pen pals when we were kids. Finding a personal letter in the mailbox that was meant just for us was always a special treat! As adults, most of our mail is bills and junk. Imagine how elated someone would be to find a handwritten letter or card amongst the weekly flyers and solicitations. Letters make people feel special, remembered, and loved, and it costs us nothing but some time and a postage stamp.

10. Give back

Volunteering is something anyone can do, no matter what is happening in the world or in our own homes. You can help a neighbor in need, cook a meal, read a story to a child, knit a scarf or hat, send a letter to a soldier overseas—there is no shortage of opportunities to lift someone else up. And the beautiful thing is that when we stop to help others, we often reap a sense of joy and fulfillment. As the old saying goes, just do what you can, where you are, with what you’ve got. You’d be surprised that even a small effort can have a major impact.

From all of us at Alert1 Medical Alert Systems, we wish you the happiest, healthiest, safest year ahead!