COVID-19 has forced many people to self-isolate to avoid infection. Seniors in particular have been advised to stay home because of the dangers they face as a result of the virus. Unfortunately, research shows that all that time home alone can harm physical and mental health, increasing the risk of issues like insomnia and anxiety. As the Unified Caring Association explains, feelings of worry are normal in such difficult times.
It’s important to ward off mental and physical health issues that may arise from isolation. This guide provides actionable and affordable tips for seniors on feeling their best while sheltering in place.
Create a Cozy Space at Home
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the house, you might as well be comfortable. Your house is your sanctuary. Insider has tips on creating a cozy space on a budget. Ideas include making a nook for reading or relaxation, embracing the power of aromatherapy with scented candles, and allowing more natural light in. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D, which also brings other benefits. As MSN reports, vitamin D can help boost your mood and combat depression.
Look for Senior-Friendly Workouts to Stay Physically Fit
The CDC recommends that older adults stay physically active to avoid health problems that come with age. There are many senior-friendly workouts you can do at home. Women’s Health has a list of tutorials you can follow for free via YouTube. If you want to get some workout gear to supplement your exercises, such as a yoga mat or exercise bands, you can order it easily online without leaving the home. To save money, the Unified Caring Association recommends looking for discounts online.
Embrace a Healthy Diet With Easy Home-Cooking Recipes
A healthy balanced diet helps older adults get the nutrients they need to maintain optimal physical and mental function. This becomes more challenging with age, as metabolism slows down and people experience decreased appetite. As a result, they have to get sufficient vitamins and minerals while consuming smaller portions. Healthy eating can also be a problem if you find cooking tiring. One solution is batch cooking. Prepare food that you can freeze and reheat. Delish has a list of more than 30 recipes that are ideal for batch cooking.
Use Technology to Maintain Social Connectivity Digitally
If you are able to see family or friends safely in person, make the most of your time together. If you can’t see your loved ones — for example, because they live far away — there are still ways you can connect. You can try eating a meal together via video chat, for example. Alternatively, watch a movie together using apps like Watch2gether and MyCircleTV. Too complicated for you? A simple video chat with your smartphone or tablet will do the trick, too. If you need to upgrade your technology, look online for deals on the latest gadgets.
Pick Up a New Hobby to Stay Busy and Mentally Fit
Technology can also help keep you occupied at home, helping you avoid boredom. Use your tech tools to pick up a new hobby. Develop Good Habits offers a list of options for seniors, like learning an instrument. This is the kind of thing you can do online, thanks to free YouTube tutorials. Plus, learning something new will keep you mentally sharp.
With these 5 tips for coping with COVID-related isolation, you can stay happy at home as you continue to self-isolate because of COVID-19. You will also feel better emotionally as a result.
By Karen Weeks, contributing author
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