Washing your hands and maintaining social distancing are some of the most commonly talked about ways to stay healthy during this global pandemic.
While washing your hands for twenty seconds and staying 6 feet from others are important for maintaining physical health, how can we maintain our mental and emotional health? Seniors are some of the most at-risk people for feeling isolation and loneliness. It’s important – now more than ever – that you’re feeling connected, safe, and healthy.
Read on for some tips on how to stay sane as routines change and currently scheduled plans fall through.
Maintain Your Routines When You Can
One thing the human brain craves is predictability. When we have predictability in our lives, it leads to a feeling of safety and stability. When those feelings of security and predictability go away, it can be easy to slip into new routines of watching hours of TV, stressing over finances, unhealthy eating, and other behaviors that offer us feelings of control during these unpredictable days.
Although some day-to-day routines may have to change to keep you healthy, maintain those routines that do not impact your safety. Do you sit on the front porch? Drink your coffee outside? Journal? These are all routines that can be done with social distancing in mind, and they will contribute to your overall health.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New
In addition to carrying out old routines, there might be opportunities to create new healthy routines, too. These tasks will help you focus your attention on building healthy habits that develop a sense of control.
Schedule a regular check-in time with your family and/or friends via phone or video messaging. Never used Skype, FaceTime, or any of those other programs that came built into your tablet? Ask someone to talk you through making your first video call – it might take a while to learn, but it’s worth the effort to be able to see your grandchildren on screen.
Perhaps you can set a new goal of drinking more water or reading before bed every day. And now is a great time to try a new hobby like Sodoku or get into crossword puzzles.
Make Safe Plans You Can Look Forward To All Week
Write down all the activities you look forward to doing throughout your week. What can still be done with social distancing in mind?
You could call a member from your book club over the phone to discuss your week of reading. Sure it’s not exactly the same as sitting in the same room with a plate of goodies, but it’s a good substitute until it’s safe to be together again.
Like to cook and bake? Make plans to try out new recipes for your favorite foods. You can find plenty of great restaurant copycat recipes online if you’re craving something from your favorite spots.
These simple pleasures are fun to look forward to; simply bringing them to your attention and writing them on your calendar can lift your spirits tremendously.
During this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult to remain calm when the news is changing so fast. Stay positive and maintain the parts of your day-to-day routine that are safe to continue. Keep your spirits up and be open to challenging yourself to stay connected in new ways.