How are you doing? Self-isolation and social distancing are impacting all of our lives, including families and seniors living apart. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, you are not alone. Feeling depressed and anxious as we grieve the loss of our daily routine is normal.
As the world adjusts, more and more tips, tools, and resources are becoming available to help us all get through these challenging times.
Below are a few of our top picks for information on how to stay positive, engaged, and as healthy as possible.
1. How to Cope with Stress
Stress, anxiety, and mental health issues are normal reactions to these circumstances and affect everyone differently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol or drug use, or worsening health conditions can all be symptoms of underlying stress.
To help with this, try:
- Taking a break from the news
- Taking deep breaths or practicing meditation
- Finding activities that bring you joy
- Calling a friend or family member
For additional coping strategies, read the full article from the CDC.
2. How to Stay Connected
Combating social isolation when you can't get together in-person may seem difficult. But in our digital world, there are countless ways to connect with friends, family, or new people using your phone or computer. All without leaving your house.
Try these recommendations from the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
Many of the NCOA's suggestions include video meeting platforms, like FaceTime or Google Hangouts, recognizing the added value of seeing a friendly face. The trouble is, many of us have never heard of these technologies or used them.
But not to worry, check out this guide from the LA Times, and you'll be set up in no time.
3. How to Find Out What's Going on Locally
Regions of the United States are being impacted by COVID-19 in different ways based on the prevalence of cases and restrictions in their communities. As a result, the national news may not precisely reflect what's happening in your neighborhood.
Fortunately, LA County is providing some great resources and insights into what is happening here. The Public Health department has set up a webpage for COVID-19-specific health information and resources for businesses and other types of facilities.
The page also includes food bank information, important hotlines, and online resources.
4. How to Have Fun
Sitting around the house all day can get pretty tiresome after a while. But there are a lot of fun things that you can do, either by yourself or with a loved one. Try a jigsaw or crossword puzzle, write some snail mail to friends or family, play a board game, or create a hobby box.
AARP offers several ways to have fun while at home. Try some of these ideas on a virtual meeting with your loved ones and friends, and it can feel just like old times.
5. How to Get Fresh Food
One major aspect of our lives being affected right now is our access to food. Along with restaurants and cafes being closed, regular trips to the local grocery store are now discouraged, and many supermarket delivery services are overwhelmed. If you're struggling to get fresh food, various meal delivery services are still operating. They can drop either pre-made meals or fresh ingredients with recipes to make your own.
Here's a curated list of some of the best meal delivery options in 2020, with reviews by CNET.
A Final Note...
Not that long ago, we were unaccustomed to social distancing and the spread of the novel coronavirus. That's important to remember when you're feeling down and think you're not quite coping. We've all come a long way in a short period of time, so be kind to yourself and continue to look for the small things in life that can bring you joy and a sense of calm. As we all move forward together, remember that the Tandem Care Team is always here if you or a loved one need extra support at home.