This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: LeeGaleGruen.com
Now, on to my blog:
In this time of Covid 19, shelter in place, rising unemployment, and social unrest, it’s easy to get into the habit of staying indoors for long periods of time. However, such behavior becomes isolating. We humans are symbiotic creatures and need the stimulation of others. Real time connectivity with folks is gratifying.
Yes, we can chat and see one another via technology using websites such as Zoom, Skype, and more. However, they can’t replace close, personal contact. There is just something about being together in actual proximity which nourishes and nurtures.
Some devolve into escaping under the covers. A variation of that is delaying or even forgoing personal hygiene and opting to pad around the house all day in pajamas, nightgown, underwear, or whatever you wear or don’t wear to sleep in. Maybe you begin to let the dirty dishes and laundry pile up and generally start to neglect basic household chores.
That is not the best course of action for optimum, mental well-being. It can lead to depression. Maintaining our usual routine as much as possible such as getting dressed in street clothing alters our mindset. It enables us to segue seamlessly from rest mode to action mode.
I remember the adjustment I had to make decades ago when I began a special telecommuting program of working at home with a computer just at the threshold of what is now a way of life on a part-time or full time basis for almost half of American workers. Those first few weeks before I got my groove, I would open my computer prior to changing into daytime clothing only to find myself hours later with eyes glued to the screen still wearing a robe and pj’s. One telecommuting co-worker actually used to get dressed and walk out of the front door as though on his way to the office. He would stroll around the block and return to his home to commence his job, but his perspective had changed.
During this time of multiple crises with their resultant additional hours of within-four-walls, solitary time, we must try to maintain some semblance of normalcy. So, get up at a reasonable hour, make your bed, bathe/shave/brush, get dressed as though you are going out and about, and actually do so for exercise and a change of focus. It will perk up your spirits and help you to weather this strange time we’re currently living in.
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Photo credit: Janet Maker