Our Top 3 Tips to Beat the COVID Blues

Our Top 3 Tips to Beat the COVID Blues

by: Melanie Farley

 

Summer is in full swing, and we are all getting used to what has become the “new normal.” While certain restrictions have been removed, we have been forced to accept masks and social distancing as a new way of life. Social distancing is especially important for more vulnerable populations, like seniors, but it can isolate elderly people from friends and families, resulting in increased feelings of loneliness and depression. This is especially true for seniors to do not have access to technological replacements (Zoom, Skype, etc.) for in-person connection.

So, how can we continue to socially distance and beat the COVID blues? Read on for our top 3 suggestions!

 

 

Stay Active 

Studies show that physical activity improves mood, making it an ideal way to beat the COVID Blues. It's tough to stay active while social distancing, but with a little creativity it's not impossible.

If you have access to the internet, you can search for things like “chair yoga for seniors” or “gentle movement for seniors” to find guided routines to practice at home.

Some seniors enjoy Tai Chi, as well, and report that it helps ease their arthritis. If you don’t have the internet, there are plenty of books that can guide your senior through simple, gentle movements that improve strength, flexibility, balance, joint mobility – and of course, mood.

The most important thing is to get up and be active for a little while, every day. You’ll feel better, physically and emotionally.  

 

Stay Grateful

It’s easy when we are inundated with bad news to start to think that everything is terrible, but this attitude causes an unnecessary strain on our mental and emotional resources. We all deserve to feel, happy, and secure, and that starts with gratitude.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people experience more positive emotions, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

So, how can we start to feel more grateful? 

You might start a gratitude journal by writing down something you are grateful for each day, or maybe you just take a little extra time on your morning walk to “smell the roses.” The point is: by shifting your awareness to the positive experiences in your life, you will start to feel more positive yourself. So, it’s worth it to give thanks!

 

Stay Connected

Older populations have become more isolated during these times of social separation, but there are still ways to stay connected. Technology allows people to keep in contact now more than ever, so if your senior is comfortable with it, you can connect via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and more. You might set a regular date and time; that way, you and your senior have something to look forward to every week.

If your senior doesn’t have access to a computer, then it’s time to pick up the phone, or even write a letter! The Institute on Aging also offers a 24/7 Friendship Line for people 60 years and older.

 


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