8 tips to help seniors avoid depression during COVID-19
As a high-risk group, many seniors are being extra careful during the pandemic. Staying at home offers protection from the virus, but it can also lead to loneliness and depression. That is why it is important to find things you can safely enjoy doing.
Asa Briggs, NP, shared ways you can find some normalcy in the midst of the pandemic while taking care of your mental health.
- Maintain structure and keep a routine. COVID-19 has disrupted structure and routine for everyone. Reestablishing new routines quickly is important, especially around the holidays as gathering with family won’t be as easy this year.
- Keep your brain active. Play virtual board games with friends and family. Ask a family member to help set up the game, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it. Other activities such as puzzles, reading, sudoku and crosswords are great as well.
- Meditate. Meditation is great for the mind. There are several YouTube tutorials available to help you learn how to meditate. Apps like Headspace can also assist with self-guided mindful meditation.
- Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise in your home and socially distanced outdoor locations can help bolster immune and mental health. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or visit a local park. Exercises such as yoga or stretching are also great.
- Manage alcohol intake. In isolation, many individuals turn to alcohol or drugs, which can make mental illnesses worse.
- Stay in touch. Having a support system is important. Keep in touch with others in your community through phone calls or virtual calls, even if you aren’t able to see each other in person.
- Reduce time reading information that causes anxiety or fear. Monitor your intake of negative media and consume only reliable sources of information about COVID-19.
- Plan for the future. Future planning is a way to help you focus on something fun. Set dates for virtual calls or game nights or outdoor socially distanced gatherings.
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