I am not some marathon running pundit eager to pontificate on life to older people who’d rather be sitting on a couch watching Netflix, especially during a pandemic where jokes of the excruciating wait til wine-thirty are rampant or “the CoronaVirus 10” is jokingly discussed.
Most of us, alas, will never be marathoners or IronMen to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of pre-retirees and the Centrum crowd, but there’s no reason I can’t entertain myself during a pandemic by composing a “Guide For Middle Aged Adults To Survive In the Age of COVID-19”
First of all, it’s never too late to wear sunscreen. The pandemic has taught us all to get outside because being cooped up during “stay at home orders” has given us all a newfound gratitude for the great outdoors. But if you find yourself out for hours trying to look like your are exercising because you just can’t take bingeing one more season of The Crown, put on the sunscreen. We all know at least one friend wearing the conspicuous white bandage of a melanoma experience.
2. Take Care of Your Feet
While being in your new “work at home” lifestyle, you may find yourself walking around without shoes on. Well, if you are 55 like me, you may find yourself fighting a case of plantar fasciitis. Get a new pair of shoes with support and may I suggest the little compression footie socks.? Yes, they are a God send and you will thank me.
If you find that you are now NOT going on vacation because no country will allow you past its borders, Hawaii is closed for the foreseeable future, the National Parks in California and Oregon are burning, being on an airplane seems rather dicey right now and the surge in RV rental adventures has depleted the supply, you may have to entertain a staycation. Remember the 2008 recession when that was all the rage? This is the time to discover those restaurants that have somehow managed to stay open. Tip your server 20% or more. Discover the fine art of lying under a tree in a local park or if you are feeling like blowing some calories, learn to play PickleBall. It’s all the rage for those of us 50+. You can social distance just fine on the court.
4. Take Your Vitamins
During COVID Days, it’s time to up your intake of anything that looks like a supplement. Zinc, Vitamin C, BioAstin, DHEA, B Complex and wash that all down with some Suja vegetable juice like I do each day. Mmmm…better than a cocktail. Well, no, not really.
5. Learn New Things
It does not look like we will be getting back to “normal” any time soon and by the time we DO get back to what we thought was normal, the world will have changed with all the new things being created while people are either working from home, switching careers, or taking forced early retirement. If you resisted all those free subscriptions to MasterClass, Tony Robbin’s Challenges, and Bob Ross painting tutorials, now may be the time to consider digging in. Hell, you can learn a new language by Christmas, so when you CAN actually go back to Europe sometime in 2021, you will be ready. You can even learn how to use FaceTime or start making Tiktok videos with your kids or grandkids.
6. Self Care
As we all stare into the face of the unknown, especially before the election, it’s imperative we focus on self care so we are mentally and physically ready for what may be coming. Knowing we all survived the ’80’s, somehow crawled through the Great Recession and now a never ending pandemic, we should all realize we have created a well of resilency to dip into. I’m not advocating for you to decide now is the time to discover the beauty of Tostito’s queso in a jar (well, I HAD to do it at least twice) or Talenti Mint Chocolate ice cream (so tasty while watching Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah), but turning off the negative news, the Debbie Downer Facebook posts, the Weather channel and the stock market ticker is good for your soul. Breathe. Stretch. Journal. Sit in gratitude for a few minutes each day because each day SOMETHING IS GOING RIGHT. (Something is usually also going south like our jowls, but let’s not focus on THAT.)
We have a choice each day to do something that our future selves will thank us for. So, take care of yourself during this crazy time in our lives. As my friend and I used to say before doing something memorable, “No guts, no story.” You’re living through a global pandemic, epic climate change, the Trump administration, and middle age-WE CAN DO THIS THING!