In the age of COVID-19, more colloquially known as the Coronavirus, your health, and personal safety have never been more important. The world seems very different than it was just weeks ago, but the rise of a pandemic just reaffirms what is most important: friends, family, and your health. Social distancing can be stressful, but it’s among the best ways to minimize risk to both you and those around you. If you’re stuck at home during these trying times, follow these health and wellness tips for older adults to stay healthy during this coronavirus pandemic.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise may be the furthest thing from your mind while stuck inside, especially while handling the stress of changing circumstances. However, even a little movement can do wonders for your overall mental, physical, and emotional health.
Depending on your physical abilities, there are many different kinds of things you can do to exercise without leaving the house. From going up and down the stairs a few times to walking laps in your home or even jogging in place, a little physical movement goes a long way in helping you feel your best. The internet is full of programs, too; fitness apps, streaming sites, and even YouTube offer countless avenues for at-home workouts at all levels of intensity and ability.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleeping seems like a simple thing to achieve while spending all day at home, but day after day without the routines of jobs, hobbies, and social outings can make time seem meaningless. It’s easy to slip into negative habits, like going to bed too late out of a desire to catch just one more episode of your favorite show.
No matter what your at-home habits look like, try to establish a regular time to go to sleep and to get up in the morning. This can feel a little silly at first, especially if you have nowhere to go, but maintaining a schedule can keep your circadian rhythm in check, helping you to stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Eat Healthy Meals
Being stuck inside all day with nowhere to go can make it easy to justify a little extra junk food, but a healthy and balanced diet is a critical part of your wellness. Overall, your diet plays an important role in sustaining your immune system, so eating a steady diet of potato chips while practicing social distancing can cause you more harm than good.
When planning meals, make sure to include as many leafy greens as possible in addition to servings of fruit and protein. If regular access to fresh produce is limited, frozen alternatives are a fine substitute. Include a daily vitamin as well to hit on all the nutrients you may not be getting through diet alone. Maintaining a healthy diet is a vital part of older adults staying healthy during coronavirus.
Find New Hobbies
Sometimes, daily life feels too busy to find time to learn new skills or experiment with new leisure activities. Now, without a way to fall back on the same old habits and duties that have kept you distracted, there’s plenty of time to try something new.
Even without going outside, there are plenty of ways for older adults to stay busy at home. You could consider joining a virtual book club, taking open online courses on platforms like Coursera or edX to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. Learning to sew, knit, or cross-stitch, taking up puzzles, baking, canning, cooking elaborate dishes, or even playing virtual card games with friends online. With more free time to devote to the little things in life, you can find new ways to enjoy your leisure time.
Keep in Touch
Not being able to see friends, children, grandchildren, and extended family members can make you feel isolated if you live alone. Humans are social animals and extended distancing from necessary social interaction is often uncomfortable or distressing. Luckily, technology makes it possible to stay in touch, whether your family is across the street or around the world.
From Skype to FaceTime, it’s possible to stay connected with your friends and family, without meeting up in person. Even texting can be a great way to check-in. A simple message to a loved one and a kind response can be enough to create the kind of connection you’re missing while staying at home and staying healthy during coronavirus.
Make Plans for the Future
Staying at home and socially distancing yourself may feel like a very uncertain set of circumstances, but there’s good news: it won’t last forever. Sooner or later, the world will right itself, and life will go back to normal. And when it does, what do you want to do?
From trips to Florida with friends to dinners with your family, it’s important to think about the light at the end of the tunnel. The things you miss doing now will be available soon, so don’t let yourself be consumed by stress that can come with this challenging situation. Think up a meal plan for a family dinner, research venues for your next family reunion, or put together an itinerary for your dream vacation. It’s easier to be happier at home when you have something to look forward to.
Check-In With Yourself
It can be overwhelming to have your whole world change essentially overnight, especially when you don’t know what the immediate future may hold. In these times, it’s important to check in with yourself and make sure you are meeting your basic needs.
Do you feel emotionally healthy? Physically healthy? How is your morale?
By taking time to evaluate your wellbeing as well as your individual needs, it becomes easier to keep your health headed in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, the increase in telehealth services makes it easy to speak to your physician or a licensed counselor without leaving your home.
Staying as healthy as possible is always important, but now more than ever your focus should be on remaining as resilient as possible. With these tips for older adults to stay healthy during coronavirus, you can make the most of your time at home.
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