Finding a New Normal: 4 ways to find purpose during COVID-19

As things slowly reopen and people start venturing to places other than the local grocery store, we find ourselves adjusting to a new normal and spending more time at home then we have in the past. It might seem like you’ve watched every TV show and read every book on the shelf, so now what?

We asked Program Directors at all Northbridge communities to share some fun projects they’ve incorporated into daily life at their communities. We’ve picked just a few to share with you. These projects are fun and easy to recreate in your own home!

Lodge recreation1. Watercolor painting: Most people don’t realize how much they enjoy creating art until they have the time to really experiment with it. Try purchasing some watercolor paint, paint brushes and paper to create your own masterpiece! Programmer tip: watercolor pencils work great and are nice for those just starting out!

2. Painted Rocks: all you need for this project is acrylic paint, posca pens, and a few inspirational quotes! To start take a nice outdoor walk, collecting some medium size rocks along the way. Paint your collected rocks and let the acrylic paint dry then write your fun and inspirational messages on the rocks. The last step is to take another walk leaving your rocks along the way for others to read and enjoy.

3. A Daily Jot: keep a daily journal and if you feel like it, invite other friends or family to keep one along with you. You can pick topics to write about and share your entries with each other. Granite Hill Estates Program Director, Dawn, asks her residents to contemplate these 6 daily questions:

What am I grateful for today? Who am I checking in on, or connecting with today? What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today? How am I getting outside today? How am I moving my body today? What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

If you are keeping a journal at home, you can answer these questions as part of your daily jot!

4. Baking: one of our favorite signature programs at Northbridge is Memory Making Baking. Memory Making Baking involves using nostalgic smells and tastes to bring to life pleasant memories and emotions from the past. This can be as simple as cookies or as complex as blueberry crumble. It’s not so much the food that your making but the memories you have attached to the dish. Never underestimate the power of a simple chocolate chip cookie!

Keeping your mind active and engaged is just as important as keeping your body active and engaged as you age. After retiring, finding projects that engage us and make us feel a sense of purpose are vital. Everyone needs to feel a connection to the larger society. Projects like painting rocks to spread joy to to others and daily jots to stay connected with friends and family give us purpose and connection.

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