In May, communities across the country join together to celebrate older adults. The Administration for Community Living gives a theme for the celebration each year, offering the chance for organizations to jump on board and honor those who have come before us. In 2019, the theme for Older Americans Month is “Connect, Create, and Contribute”. We couldn’t help but get in on the fun, so here are a few ideas to help Boomersand Millennials live these three words long after May concludes.
Connection with others is crucial to mental and physical health. Studies have confirmed this is especially true for seniors over the age of 65; without peer support, seniors are more likely to be depressed and anxious, as well as show faster memory decline. Connection outside of social media and that does not require a screen is important for everyone.
To connect with others, Boomer and Millennials can benefit from making a standing date with friends at least once per week. Get out of the house to meet for coffee or breakfast, or to play cards together. When it is scheduled in your busy social calendar, the event is more likely to happen.
Creativity is fun, and it gives our brains the chance to try something new. However, past thoughts of “I’m not artistic or creative” as well as busy workdays can leave Boomers and Millennials lacking in the creativity department.
Boost your creativity by making time to create. Cook or bake more. Take a painting class. Sign up for a dance class with your friends. Journal. Sketch. No matter what it is, give your brain the chance to create something new.
With social media giving us all the feeling of artificial connection, we are becoming less likely to contribute to our actual community. This month, make a few phone calls to organizations you love to see what volunteer opportunities they have. Drop off a card to the neighbor you wave to every day but never stop to have a conversation with. Donate a few dollars to your neighborhood school to pay off lunch dues for kiddos who may not have the money right now. Run for office, join a service organization, or be a board member for a community nonprofit. You can contribute to your community in many ways, and are only limited by your imagination.
How will you connect, create, and contribute this year? We would love to hear about it. Submit your story to us and we may publish it on our website.