Dr. Cheryl Greenberg, Ed.D., works as a coach, or guide, for seniors and their families as they consider and plan for changes in their personal and work lives. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-202-5669.
It is winter! The sky is beautiful. The air is crisp. One small snow would be just right for enjoying the sparkle and glitter that winter brings.
But winter is also time of more caution about flu or COVID. Shorter days and earlier dark. Maybe even some frustration with those crisp temperatures and multiple snows.
And you find yourself back to wondering how to stay in touch with each other in comfortable and safe ways.
So, what is the 2023 answer to an enjoyable, sociable, active … and safe … winter?
Remember, there are still many virtual and face-to-face activities that fill the bill. Be creative about finding virtual activities and, of course, evaluate the safety of face-to-face activities.
Ideas for Connected Winter
Have small gatherings in your home.
Plan on safety as well as fun. Don’t pile on the invitations. Keep gatherings to a few people so you can socially distance gracefully. And be courageous about asking your friends whether they have been vaccinated and are cautious about exposure to viruses.
Go to virtual events with your family and friends.
We are a bit tired of socializing through squares on the screen, but there are many ways that socializing online can be fun and fulfilling.
Sign onto online concerts, plays, and trips to museums. Invite your friends to watch the same events and plan a time to talk about the highlights.
And don’t forget TV. Watch football, soccer, tennis and basketball “together” with your friends and family (at your own homes), while discussing play-by-plays. Using “watch party” apps, such as TeleParty, Amazon Prime Watch Party, or Kast, makes you feel as though you are all in the same room!
Volunteer outdoors or in small groups.
Volunteering checks so many boxes: You feel good about giving. You socialize while you are working. You use your mind and body, keeping them healthy.
So, offer help at food distribution centers, participate in a build for Habitat for Humanity or a tiny home project, tutor children or adult English learners, or use your professional skills to mentor a newbie.
Enroll in an online or face-to-face class.
Shake up the ordinary and, again, keep your brain healthy by learning something new and challenging.
What have you always wanted to know? Ready for painting lessons at an art center, political history at a local college, or a master’s class online?
Still not sure what to do or feeling a little down in the dumps this winter?
Take some quiet time.
Take some quiet time to think about new paths and imagine how new activities would feel. Be as creative as possible in finding a way to connect with your interests.
Sometimes socializing leads to activities, not the other way around. So, find companions at community centers, non-profit organizations, faith communities, etc. and join in the activities that are already taking place.
Talk with a professional coach or counselor.
Talk with a professional coach or counselor about how you are feeling and how to plan your next steps.
Sharing how you are feeling and being open to caring feedback can be the best way to turn your feelings back to enjoying the crisp, bright winter days.
Dr. Greenberg would be happy to help you think through your plans for the future … both the practical and the emotionally satisfying.