Dealing with Isolation
As the world continues to struggle with the impacts of COVID-19, those most vulnerable are left with some serious challenges. One of these challenges is loneliness and isolation. Elderly populations and those with pre-existing health conditions are at most risk of experiencing severe symptoms if they catch the virus. As a result, family caregivers and their loved ones are encouraged to stay inside and isolate themselves, hopefully reducing the risk of getting and/or transmitting the virus. This results in increased isolation, which can lead to boredom, frustration, or worse, depression and anxiety. It is, therefore, important to find ways to minimize the risks of isolation by finding healthy and productive things to do. In this blog, we go over several ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this unusual and difficult time.
Everything we recommend will stay within the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines of social distancing, which includes minimizing social activity and keeping a distance of at least six feet apart. While one challenge is to combat isolation, we put forward safe alternatives that can help abate feelings of loneliness and ward off depression and anxiety. However, if you are experiencing increased anxiety or depression, then you should consult with a mental health professional, possibly scheduling an appointment over a video conference app, like Zoom or Skype.
Consider these suggestions to help avoid the impacts of loneliness and isolation.
Isolate Outdoors: While not a solution to isolation, per se, going outdoors even if you are on your own can have its own array of health benefits. For example, you can sit outside and read a book, take a walk around the neighborhood, garden, or sit outdoors to call a friend. Being outdoors can expose you to sunlight, which can help combat depression and anxiety, as well as give you vitamin D since the body converts energy from the sun into this important nutrient.
Pursue a Hobby: More time to yourself means more time to focus on what you or a loved one likes to do. For example, if you are caring for an aging loved one and you know they like a certain activity, make time in your schedule to practice it together. This can be anything from listening to music to making birdhouses. If you think it is feasible to achieve during these times of quarantine, why not pursue it? At the very least, this can help offset the feelings of boredom.
Exercise: Many people are taking this opportunity to do at-home exercises through video apps, like YouTube or through online video offers from their local gyms. Exercise can have huge benefits for one’s mental health in addition to the physical benefits it brings. Before starting any regimen, make sure to consult your doctor.
Catch up with friends: One great way to fight loneliness is to call friends you have not talked to in a while. Even if you cannot go out to meet in person, talking on the phone can be a great way to socialize and to stay happy.
Get crafty: Have you ever considered arts and crafts? This can be a great activity to do with your aging loved one if you are consistently seeing them to provide care. Not only is pursuing arts and crafts mentally stimulating for them, it can be a lot of fun for everyone involved. See if you can purchase necessary materials for your preferred craft on Amazon or some other site.
If you have questions, then feel free to call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.