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New Year’s Resolutions can be a powerful tool for those with disabilities.

New Year’s is almost here, a time when many people reflect on their progress during the past year and improvements they would like to make in the future.

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New Year’s resolutions are for everyone, including the disabled. In fact, the disabled may have some advantages over able-bodied people when it comes to keeping their New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions are for everyone, including the disabled. In fact, the disabled may have some advantages over able-bodied people when it comes to keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Individuals with disabilities have lots of experience in overcoming formidable challenges and are resourceful, determined and patient. Here are some suggestions on how to make 2018 a happy, healthy and productive year – not just for yourself, but others, too.

Make health your first priority.

Resolve to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring; try something new like swimming or water aerobics, or any type of exercise that you are able to do. Of course, check with your doctor before undertaking a new exercise routine.

Increase your knowledge and skills about any topic.

Learning something new or perfecting a skill can be fun and exciting. If you are employed, it may help you in your job, or just explore a new subject that interests you. Take a computer class or learn another language.

Socialize more.

Stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues by email, phone or text, but don’t leave it at that. Join a club or social organization. Getting out and being with others helps to build relationships and provides much needed support.

If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.

Get outdoors and enjoy nature.

Spending time outside is stimulating, relaxing and healing. Get a bird feeder or buy a camera and photograph birds and other wildlife. Research events you might enjoy at local parks, like music festivals and plays. Many parks now have wheelchair accessible trails.

Take a trip – even if it’s just to a neighboring city.

Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Many planes, buses, trains, rental cars and cruise ships are now wheelchair accessible. Learn about regulations and restrictions for wheelchairs and mobility scooters at your desired destination to plan ahead. Then, pack your bag!

Start a new hobby.

Unleash your creativity by painting, writing, playing an instrument, or try a new craft. There is a world of possibilities out there so find something you enjoy and express yourself!

Try yoga or meditation.

Yoga stretches and strengthens the muscles while reducing anxiety and stress. Meditation also has a calming effect and can be practiced just about anywhere by anyone.

Volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about.

Food banks, homeless shelters, and animal shelters always need help. Mentor a disabled veteran or younger disabled person and help them gain more independence. Your experience has given you more than you may know to support, comfort and teach others going through similar circumstances, and there is little as rewarding in life as helping others in need.

Join a book club or start your own.

Reading is a great way to broaden your experiences and meet new people. Invite some friends over, provide some refreshments and enjoy discussing interesting and intriguing stories.

Learn about public transportation in your area.

Research fares, bus stops and schedules. Most mass transit services provide wheelchair access and discounted fares for seniors and the disabled.

Spend time around animals.

Animals can provide hours of entertainment as well as companionship. If you are able, get a pet, or visit a local zoo regularly. Many zoos have annual passes which allow unlimited visits. Borrow a neighbor’s pet for a few hours, the owner and pet will both appreciate it!

Join a sports team.

Adaptive sports, or para-sports, promote mobility and community as well as provide physical benefits for people with many different types of disabilities. If joining a team is a little daunting, attend the events and cheer for the athletes. Online gaming and fantasy sports can be highly entertaining, and can help you connect with others and fight isolation.

Maintain your mobility device.

If you suspect a problem with your wheelchair or mobility scooter, seek professional advice and do not wait until a small problem turns into a bigger issue. Conduct regular maintenance checks and develop a good relationship with a repair service.

Become an advocate for the disabled and connect with other disabled advocates.

Use social media to promote important issues and share personal tips. Contact your representatives about issues that affect you and other disabled people. Become politically active for any concerns you feel passionate about, let your voice be heard!

Resolutions may be easier to make than to keep.

In order to succeed, write down your resolutions and make a plan to achieve your goals. Don’t overcommit by making too many resolutions and forgive yourself when you take a step back. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, colleagues, and medical providers.

Have a great 2018!

– The attorneys and staff of Bemis, Roach & Reed

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Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.

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