Hello friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

With the ongoing pandemic, life may feel a bit monotonous. Too often, we get stuck in a rut, and feel stale or bored. So, now, more than ever, we need to discover uplifting ways to bring excitement and joy into our lives.  One, fairly easy way to help, is by simply trying a new and/or unique experience.  A fresh perspective will reinvigorate your spirit and make life more exciting!  So, here is my prescription… Instead of following your usual routine, intentionally change things up! Stimulate your mind and your creative spirit with new sights, sounds and tastes. Below, I have suggested a variety of ways to welcome and appreciate the world around us.  Even during this challenging time, allow yourself to feel wonder and blessings. I bet that once you try something unique, you will want to do it again! New experiences tend to enhance creativity and joy; they can even nourish the soul and add a little wonder.  Give yourself permission to get out of your rut, and bring in more happiness.

For families caring for a loved-one with memory loss, making moments that matter is what it is all about. While you are already doing meaningful activities, depending on your loved-one, adding an outing or a new experience may be beneficial.  Even if your loved one can only participate in part of an activity or an adventure, he/she may still find it stimulating and fun. Find ways to adapt the suggestions below to the current abilities. In addition, having new and novel experiences is good for brain health and cognition.

I was thrilled by all the possibilities in our city!  Below are interesting ways to explore, and almost all of them are free of charge. As always, please wear a mask and practice social distancing wherever you go. Safety and good health are our number one concern.

 “The soul’s joy lies in doing.”

(-Percy Bysshe Shelley, English romantic poet)

Ways To Try Something New and Add Joy:

  1. The World’s Largest Root Beer Float Drive-Thru  Did you know that August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day? Mark your calendars for a sweet drive-thru experience! Sprecher Brewing Company has plans to set a Guinness World’s Records Title for the World’s Largest Root Beer Float Drive-Thru! Between 12:00-8:00PM, Sprecher will give out thousands of FREE root beer floats. Because the floats are free, however, they encourage participants to make a donation to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin by texting FLOAT to 4144. This could be the perfect day- participate in a Guinness World’s Record event, enjoy an amazing root beer float and do a good deed by donating to charity. Done, done, and done! For more information: https://www.sprecherbrewery.com/
  2. Sculpture Milwaukee-  I am so excited to share this with you! If you have never seen Sculpture Milwaukee, I would highly suggest you check it out. Sculpture Milwaukee launched their first exhibition in 2017. This is a one-of-a kind, free urban sculpture experience. Located in downtown Milwaukee, this self-guided exploration can be enjoyed a variety of ways:  try a 1.5 mile walking tour (or walk just few blocks at a time), drive and enjoy the sculptures through your car window, or listen to an audio tour from your own home (directions on the website).  If you go in person, there are social distance markers at each of the sculptures. Relish the artwork at your own pace; the exhibit is always open. Click here for details: https://www.sculpturemilwaukee.com/2020
  3. Marvel at Milwaukee’s Outdoor Art Gallery-   I am a Milwaukee girl- born and raised here. Throughout my lifetime, I have watched our cherished city become an interesting, artsy destination. So, why not be a tourist in our own town? Did you know that there are over 140 monuments, sculptures and murals in our beautiful city?!? Click here to see a one mile map of interesting and diverse art. https://www.milwaukeedowntown.com/experience/public-art   Like Sculpture Milwaukee (listed above), there are many ways to enjoy this public art. Walk and experience all or part of the artwork. If walking is difficult, however, then simply choose one block or area to see. On the website, you can pick a specific neighborhood. You can also hop in the car for an outing, or check out website from the comfort of your home.
  4. Drive-In Movies Are Back!- When I was a girl, I loved when our family would pile into our station wagon car and go to the drive-in theatre. We consumed tons of homemade popcorn, and made memories together. Well, the drive-in experience is back! With the importance of social distancing, this wonderful tradition is a great way to have fun and stay safe. So, let’s “kick it up old school” and get that big screen experience! The Milky Way Drive-In is located in Franklin; currently, they are showing quite a few 1980’s classics. Click here for more info: https://www.milkywaydrivein.com/
  5. Go for a Drive- Sometimes we just need a change of scenery. Pack a few snacks or an easy picnic lunch, and drive somewhere scenic. You can drive somewhere close, like Milwaukee’s Lincoln Memorial Drive and enjoy beautiful Lake Michigan, or take an afternoon and drive through the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine. I adore Kettle Moraine’s scenic drive; this 115 mile route has many rolling hills left by the glaciers. While you drive, try a little summertime music like:  Kokomo by The Beach Boys, Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters, Lovely Day by Bill Withers, or Dancing in the Street by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. Click here for scenic driving ideas and more information: https://www.visitmilwaukee.org/articles/things-to-do/drives/
  6. Try a Few Milwaukee Brain Health Exercises–  In honor of our great city, I have attached a Milwaukee themed brain health exercise.  Fill in the grid with as many answers as you can think of. Each answer has a designated letter (left column) and a corresponding category (top row).  A few have been done for you.  For additional exercises, change the letters and simulate your brain with more Milwaukee trivia.
  7. Check Out The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s “Museum Moment”Still searching for something new? Basketball just kicked off, and is bringing excitement to fans everywhere. In fact, our very own Milwaukee Bucks are one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship, and Giannis Antetokounmpo might even win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player! Click here as this Museum Moment explores how the Bucks came to Milwaukee. After you watch, think about how sports can help unify people. What do you love about watching a game?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqxN6jCpz6M&list=PLl-OCNr_mRXQ7DNfR6PSo4K0qdmYGmlz4&index=48&t=1s

Venturing out and trying something new can invigorate your soul! If you are caring for someone, consider your loved-one’s strengths and likes, be flexible and change the plan, if needed. So, welcome a new adventure this week- in person or virtually! I can’t wait to hear what you tried! Enjoy!

As always, I am here for you- to listen, problem solve or just connect. Email me at DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana