Are you a senior? I am. And, as a senior I know that we are at special risk when it comes to COVID-19. I also know that there can be special stresses. After all, as seniors, we may have weakened immune systems or underlying illnesses that make us especially susceptible. Unfortunately, there are many seniors who do not have adequate emotional, physical, or financial support to help them cope during this crisis. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are also very common among seniors.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. We all react differently, but it is very important to notice how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly, so that you can react appropriately to the situation and surrounding stresses.
Create a Relaxing Environment
If you are like me, you likely take great comfort in your home and in familiar surroundings. As much as possible, create a relaxing and soothing environment for yourself. Your home is your sanctuary from the storm, so make every effort to make it comfortable. Asks friends and family members, if necessary, to help you. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, at times like this, it’s essential for us to know our own vulnerabilities. Don’t let pride stand in your way.
Eat Healthy and Exercise
Coping with COVID-19, requires all of us to do those things that will see us through. Take good care of your body. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. Stay informed and stay connected. Share your concerns with others and do what you can to build a strong support system.
Give Yourself Grace
It’s also important to give yourself grace. Lots of grace. Times are tough, so cut yourself some slack if you are a bit out of sorts. It’s completely understandable. Give yourself lots of breaks, too. Whether you are working or retired, take time throughout your day to unwind. Do those things you enjoy. Take deep breathes, listen to music, read, garden, or cook. And laugh. A lot. Humor is great medicine. I also recommend turning off the t.v. At the very least, limit viewing. Yes, stay informed, but don’t saturate yourself with negative and toxic news reports. Instead, meditate on those things that are good. Positive. Productive.
Coping during a crisis takes intentionality. We must be intentional about taking care of ourselves. I’m not a health professional, but I do know that by implementing some simple practices into my daily routine, I am more able to cope with the stress of this pandemic. If you do the same, you may find yourself coping better, too. Of course, if you are finding that the stress of today’s climate is impacting your well-being, please seek help from a professional counselor, doctor, or a member of the clergy.
Stay healthy. Stay Positive. Be encouraged. We will move through this, and we will be better.