As we enter the New Year 2021, everyone is feeling an added layer of hope and new beginnings beyond our usual New Year’s dreams and aspirations. 2020 was certainly full of challenges and uncharted waters, and we are all eagerly anticipating calmer seas as we see the Covid-19 vaccine on our horizon.
At Assisting Hands we are busy brainstorming and implementing new ideas to focus on our forever ultimate goal: providing our best and most compassionate care to our community. In 2021, we are offering new benefits and rewards for our superstar team of caregivers. We are also ready to set out with renewed enthusiasm to ask: how can we better serve our clients?
Our focus is, as always, first and foremost on providing quality home care. We would love to hear what that means to you! The one on one connection we and our caregivers have with our clients is our greatest priority, please don’t be shy in communicating with us!
While we wait for your much appreciated communication, here are some ideas for how you can usher in the New Year with all of the healing and care that you deserve in this new fresh start of 2021!
7 Ways to Show Yourself Care in the New Year
Our lead caregiver, Allison, shares 7 ways you can show yourself some love this year – at any age!
1. Slow it down!
Have you ever heard the old adage “the slower I go, the faster I am”? I think this is an idea we can embrace particularly now in this time of COVID. We may not be able to accomplish and do everything that we want to as soon as we want to these days. But the time we take to savor and fully experience what is in front of us and what we CAN do can hone our focus for when the world is more open to us.
Sit down and relax! Enjoy a moment of silence, savor a hot cup of coffee or tea, take in your surroundings and the moment you are in right now. Don’t forget to keep it simple because you will find that you actually have more time once you take the time to live each moment in the moment.
2. Go into (or just look at!) nature!
Did you know that multiple studies have shown that simply looking at trees can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress hormones in your body? Studies found that even looking at pictures of trees could help, although with a much more subtle effect.
Although it can be tricky in the wintertime, we have been having several unseasonably warm days perfect for a midday walk! Even if you can’t get outside, simply window gazing might give you some outdoorsy exposure and a fresh perspective.
Breathing deeply is something we sometimes forget to practice but is one of the most essential needs of our body…and it is one of the easiest ways to find relaxation! Try standing or sitting up straight, or even lying down. Breathe in slowly through your nose and try to fill up your belly first before expanding your chest. Fill up your lungs as much as you possibly can, try holding your breath for a few seconds, and then release your breath as slowly as possible through your mouth. Count the seconds and see how slowly you can release your breath. Your body will thank you for the oxygen and the instant calm.
4. Move your body!
We all know it: exercise is good for you in so many ways. From the immediate endorphins you can get, to the long lasting effects like maintaining strength and mobility in your body and keeping your heart healthy. Sometimes, however, especially in the winter when the days are short and dark and it’s cold outside, we would much prefer to bundle up and stay put.
Once you get moving however, you’ll see how exercise can warm you up and make you feel even more toasty than your favorite blanket! The best way to exercise is to find something active that you like to do and then add it to your routine. Staying active can be as simple as taking the stairs every day instead of the elevator or dancing in your living room. Get creative with making your workout more of just a fun way to add movement to your life. You could find a wealth of free videos online with follow-along dances, yoga or martial art moves. Do you have a ping pong or pool table or a hula hoop gathering dust that you could pull out? Plus, truly one of the best exercises is walking. With the relatively warm winter we have been having so far you may find the weather is well suited to a walk…just make sure you are properly booted and dressed for it!
5. Get creative!
Another fun thing with unexpected benefits for your body and mind…crafting!
Working on a craft can help you access the creative parts of your brain if they are a little underused in your day to day. Don’t put any pressure on yourself for the end product, just make some easy intuitive decisions, like “what color would I like to use here?”
The fine motor skills that you use while crafting can help you to maintain everyday skills throughout your life. If you are working on a project like knitting or cross stitch, the repetitive motions have been found to be calming and to improve mental health.
So pull out that photo album that’s been sitting on the shelf. Get messy with some paints or crayons. These days the possibilities abound with adult coloring books and even sticker books. Crafting can be as simple or as involved as you want to make it…so get making!
Did you know that laughing has short-term and long-term health benefits? Laughing stimulates your muscles and lungs, increases circulation and can lower your stress levels. In the long term, regular laughter can improve your immune system!
But you don’t need to start racking your brain for jokes (unless you feel inspired!)…let the comedians and entertainers of the world give you a head start. How about popping in an old favorite movie or finding a new comedy. Or, turn to some good old fashioned comic strips or comic books. If you are looking for some shared laughs, getting on the phone with an old friend will undoubtedly get your giggles flowing.
7. Eat a sweet (and healthy) treat!
Who says that eating well can’t taste good? Something that nourishes your body can also be a treat! Find something delicious this year that you and your body love for you to eat. Why not try a sprinkle of sugar on your strawberries or raspberries? Maybe some yummy dip with your broccoli and carrots. Maybe you love olives on your salad. Balance it out so you can look forward to giving your body something good…in every sense!