Happy New Year 2022 in gold letters on black background.
Health & Well-Being

This Year Take Care

Jan 21, 2022

This Year Take Care

Getting to 2022 was no easy feat, so congratulations. On October 2, 2021, I stood on the National Mall surrounding the Washington Monument, in Washington DC, and observed the 700,000 white flags placed in a perfect and seemingly endless formation. Each flag in memory of an American who died of COVID. The powerful sight of this installation ended the next day, but the deaths continued. As of January 19, 2022, deaths have risen to over 857,000.

 

Image shows white flag memorial installation at Washington Monument on October 2, 2021.

Image shows white flag memorial installation at Washington Monument on October 2, 2021.

The installation named, “In America: Remember,” was also a powerful reminder of our collective survival. I could not help but think of that as I watched the other living visitors to the massive field of flags, paying respect. Perhaps the best way to celebrate the life we continue is to take care of it. So many aspects of our lives have been affected by the pandemic, whether we contracted the virus or not. Even the luckiest among us is likely to be dealing with some collateral damage. The year ahead is the right time to recognize your need for recovery and make self care a priority.

Life, as we knew it, has been interrupted by the pandemic. In some ways it is strikingly similar to the disruption caused by vision loss. And to be fair, we must acknowledge, dealing with both is a heavy load. If you’re feeling burnt out and exhausted, that would actually make sense.

We can take steps to improve on behaviors that may have suffered under the stress. Here are some thoughts and ideas that might help as you evaluate and recover from your own particular pandemic injury. Begin a new year by taking care.

 

Help for Your Head.

Mental health and emotional well-being are front and center as we re-acclimate and find our path forward. We must take care of self first, before we can take care of others. Read the OE article linked below for smart steps and stress relieving strategies to help our recovery.

Prioritize Your Emotional Health

 

Eating Well.

If good eating habits faltered during the pandemic, now is the time to get back to nourishing yourself with healthy food choices. Be mindful about your consumption and remember it’s best to focus on mostly unprocessed foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish and some meats. Keep your plate colorful and predominantly plant-based. The foods that hold  age-related macular degeneration at bay, are based on the same Mediterranean diet that promotes heart health. 

The Anti-AMD Diet

 

Think Small.

There’s no sense trying to counter overwhelming change with more overwhelming change, so Keep the corrections small, even tiny. In the OE article linked below I recommend the bite size approach to productivity, while utilizing the 1-minute rule, micro learning and exercise snacks.

Small Changes are Big

 

Exercise, Sleep, Learn, Connect.

The same practices, behaviors and habits that keep your brain sharp are major players in your overall health and well-being. Exercise daily, keep learning, sleep well and stay socially connected — it is key to maintaining cognition. 

6 Ways to Keep Your Mind Young

 

Have Fun.

Don’t underestimate the importance of fun, it feels good and it’s good for us. Prioritize the people and activities that are most likely to create playfulness, connection and flow in your life on a regular basis. Read more on this subject from Catherine Price in The New York Times.

Why We All Need to Have More Fun

 

For comments, questions or feedback, email us, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!


About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.

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