Life is full of traditions. Many are handed down through the years, and some are newly created between family and friends. Either way, traditions are part of the colorful fabric that intertwines our lives and holds us together, transcending time and distance. One common tradition this time of year is making New Year’s resolutions, which usually include stopping bad habits or starting good habits. This tradition is also a great way to stay connected and engaged with those special in your life.
Start a letter journal. Thanks to the Internet, handwritten letters are almost a thing of the past. However, seniors come from an era when writing letters by hand was an important, valued form of etiquette-a more personal way of keeping in touch. Purchase a bound journal, write a letter inside and give it to your loved one. He or she then writes a letter to you and returns the journal. The same can be done with individual letters written back and forth and pasted into the book. The process repeats throughout the year, or until the journal is full. Sharing a letter journal with your loved one is a unique way to strengthen your connection and getting to know each other better. An added perk is the excitement of looking forward to receiving “real” mail. You find yourselves thinking of each other more often and contemplating what bit of news to share in the next letter.
Plan to age gracefully. Growing older has advantages as well as a few disadvantages, such a wrinkles, gray hair and changes in our bodies. It is never too late to decide to pursue a healthy lifestyle, which increases the odds of aging gracefully. Plan to exercise often, eat nutritious foods and encourage each other while doing so. If you live close to a family member, take walks or participate in a group exercise class together. Even if your family member lives far away, you can take walks during the same time of day and talk on the phone to plan healthy meals and other activities.
Share favorite recipes. Sharing your favorite recipes with family members sends your favorite recipes to be passed down through the family generations.
Get tech savvy. A study in 2010 found that seniors are the fastest growing demographic on social networks. If you do not already have a computer, now is the time to expand your horizons. It might seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you are comfortable, you might surprise yourself. Check out University Village’s Facebook page here. Communicating and trading pictures via email becomes a snap. Even better, webcams allow face to face, conversations between family members who live apart. The grandkids can relay their adventures, and everyone gets the pleasure of seeing each other laugh.
Making New Year’s resolutions together builds bonds with family and friends. Set your resolution, involve your loved ones and help each other reach your goals. Strengthen your relationships and show your love all year long. Happy New Year To All!