With the holidays now behind us, we have all kinds of great memories of family to think back on.
As we move into the first month of the new year, though, those memories can bring a sense of loneliness. The rush of energy and activity that was the Christmas season is no longer around, our house is back to its quiet self and something seems to be missing. As a result, the holidays can be both exhilarating and saddening at the same time.
So, what do we do with ourselves now that life has settled down and we’re back to our routine? For 45% of Americans, they’ll make New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry, this isn’t a guide to creating the perfect resolution.
What we’re going to cover are three things you can implement this year that can add some energy and wholeness to your life…on top of what you already have, of course.
#1 Get Out and Walk
Do a quick search of “fitness resolutions” and you’ll get bombarded with results claiming the perfect techniques and regimens for both young and old to get into shape. These workouts typically require purchasing equipment or joining a gym. At the very least, they demand body weight workouts that some of us can’t do.
Walking is the perfect alternative. Athletic trainers and doctors alike will tell you that getting outside and walking (barring any joint issues) provides you a host of health benefits including a reduction in arthritis symptoms.
“Looking for a risk-free anti-pain treatment? A way to reduce stiffness and inflammation without any side effects?” the Arthritis Foundation’s website asks. “Walking for just 30 to 60 minutes every day can bring you all sorts of health benefits, from keeping your heart in good shape to making sure your bones stay strong.”
The experts at the Arthritis Foundation say the goal is to do every walk at moderate intensity (2-3 miles an hour) for 30 minutes at least three times a week.
#2 Create an Instagram Account
Instagram ranks right up there with Twitter and Facebook for the most popular social networks in the United States. However, Instagram is a lot easier to use that Facebook and it’s a lot more visual than Twitter. We love Instagram as an option for keeping connected with grand kids.
Instagram’s photo-based platform opens up your life in a visual way, giving your family a chance to get a good look at the day-to-day of what it’s like to be you. Instagram also has a Live feature, which allows you to broadcast live video, which is a great way to introduce kids and grandkids to that adorable puppy you just welcomed into your home.
If you start an Instagram account, you may be the only one in your group of friends. According to one social networking data site, only 11% of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 50 and 64. If you want to give Instagram a spin, this YouTube video will walk you through setting up an account, taking photos and sharing them:
#3 Become an Expert Mixologist
It’s surprisingly easy to become well-versed in making cocktails. All you need is five basic types of liquor (vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whisky), a few extra mixers and a small selection of juice-based add ins and you’re set. Startup cost is around $150.
Why a mixologist? For many reasons, not the least of which are the parties and get togethers that seem to happen every week once you hit retirement. And how great is it to be the guy or woman who can whip up a delicious concoction within minutes?
The easiest way to start is by picking up a good book on cocktails. We recommend Shane Carley’s The Home Bartender: 125 Cocktails With Four Ingredients or Less. From there, big-box stores like Walmart and Target sell mixing kits that include the basic tools you’ll need to mix drinks.
Looking Ahead to the New Year
As we mentioned earlier, the holidays are a great season for family and friendship. Afterwards, though, life winds down and can get a little lonely – it happens to the best of us.
Jumping into a walking routine, becoming an Instagram maven or learning some of the tricks of the bartending trade are not only fun, but they connect us with a larger community, whether it’s a local walking group, our kids and grandkids or friends who love a good party.