6 ways to take care of yourself

Congratulations on completing week one of Social Distancing 101. The COVID-19 virus sat you on your couch where you binge-watched television. Here are some thoughts on how to make your time at home more enjoyable and productive. I can’t promise they will make 24X7 confinement with your family feel like a week at the beach.

Be active every day. Early this year I read Younger Next Year. The book lays out a plan to slow aging as an elder adult. Three of the seven rules from the book involve being active. I try to follow those rules. However, I have that love-hate relationship with exercise which makes it challenging.

Every day I put on Foster’s harness and leash and head out for a walk, sometimes on neighborhood roads and other times on trails. COVID-19 shut the doors to the YMCA indefinitely. I venture down to the basement and my exercise bike and elliptical. Is this what a prison gym looks like? Cycling is looking promising with this week’s forecast.

Learn something new. I began working more on my family tree in early 2019. My goal was to find relatives in Switzerland and connect while on my Swiss bike tour. It did not happen. It did open the door for me to dig deeper. I have a better understanding of family history and have made slow progress.

Genealogy involves a lot of research. Ancestry.com makes a good amount of data available. However, I must connect the dots and find the missing links. This is an interesting job for an analytical person. I often find a fact that moves me one step forward only to eventually pull me back to square one. These exercises make my days pass quicker and engage my brain.

Develop good habits. I set out this year to become more of a regular reader. That is a habit that I have made an almost everyday activity. I found Goodreads, a social media site and app that supports this habit in a community-based approach. It broadened my reading perspective and tracks my progress on my 2020 reading goal.

I recently read I Kiss Your Hand Many Times, a book recommended by my cousin Michal. The book chronicles the story of Hungary and Hungarian Jews in the years up to, through, and after WW-II. The book put stories I heard and the places I visited on my 2017 Hungarian cycling tour into perspective. It helped my genealogical research by understanding the country and culture of my paternal Hungarian family.

Look ahead. I started my cycling plans for this year in late 2019. I built a full calendar of local and distant bicycle rides and tours. These plans began to unravel as COVID-19 and self-quarantining came to life. Many of my tours are in the last half of the year. I am still planning them but am delaying many commitments until the course of the virus is known.

I am using this time to build up the Cyclopaths, my social trail cycling group. In the past two years, my efforts have been met with a lukewarm response. I am using this time to look ahead at what the Cyclopaths rides will look like. Time will tell when these efforts will come to fruition.

Catch up. Let’s all fess up that we have unfinished projects around the house. Stop scrolling through photos of empty grocery shelves and toilet paper memes. Turn off the droning televised  COVID-19 updates. Give yourself a block of time in your day to process the latest news and updates.

Tackle unfinished projects in your newly rediscovered time. I recently sorted through and organized a large box of my mother’s photos. They only set on my guest bedroom closet shelf for 30+ years. This week I am going to tackle a stack of pictures stacked on my bedroom floor. Well, I intend to, I really do.

Social distancing. Without a doubt, social distancing will be dictionary.com’s 2020 word of the year. It’s about using common sense in minimizing interpersonal contact and maintaining a safe (at least six feet) distance when you must have interpersonal interactions.

Social distancing does not need to lead to social isolation. Technology today allows us to visually connect with others through mobile devices. How about using Google Hangouts to gather as a group? Back to being active every day, getting out of the house for a walk or bike ride is a safe social activity to combat social isolation.

Stay safe! Stay sane!
Tom

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