These are stressful times, full of anxiety for everyone and loneliness for many.
The challenges can be more difficult for mature people, who know they are at a higher risk for coronavirus and who already face physical challenges and, too often, social isolation.
Almost a third of older Americans live alone. Before the coronavirus outbreak, 43 percent reported feeling lonely on a regular basis.Relationship can be under stress in these times as well. Finding multiple ways to be proactive in managing stress can keep you form exhausting those resources upon which you are relying now.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; changes in sleep or eating patterns, trouble concentrating; and increased use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But no one is in this corona virus challenge alone. We are here to help keep you moving your body and maintaining a positive outlook. Here are 10 simple steps you can take each day to manage stress, anxiety and a sense of isolation caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
- Eat right, drink plenty of water, and get good sleep every night. The basics of health really matter at a time like this.
- Acknowledge and express your worries and emotions with those with whom you feel safe. Share with family, friends, doctors and caregivers what’s on your mind, listen to what is on theirs. Shared experience can discharge held tension, guilt, fear frustration and the host of negative emotions that can accumulate in body and mind when we manage our experience alone.
- Relax, breathe, meditate, pray, and practice an attitude of gratitude. Despite all the uncertainty, you have many blessings in your life. Focus on them. Make a list.
- Call your family and friends. Send text messages to check in. Play games on your phone like Word With Friends. Use FaceTime and other video call technology to see your kids and grandkids, even if you can’t be with them.
- Read a book. Read several. When you’re stuck in one place and in your own thoughts, nothing takes you away like a good book.
- Limit your exposure to TV news and social media. We should all stay informed. But with the relentless 24/7 news cycle, it’s not necessary to keep it on all the time. Don’t dwell in it.
- Maintain your personal hygiene and a clean home, as tempting as it might be to lounge around in PJs all day and let the laundry pile up.
- Pick a classic movie night to share with family and friends, and discuss it over the phone and via texting.
- Indulge in a daydream about something fun you’ll do when all this is over – a vacation, or just dinner at your favorite restaurant.
- No surprise here, Move well to be well. Mindful movement and exercise is more essential now than ever. You simply must move your body regularly during this challenge, even if you are restricted from going to the gym or studio. Bringing mindfulness and awareness to the process offers added benefits(see #3).
Often we can use exercise to act against our body, especially in stressful times. Lead with compassion and your body, mind and self will thank you for it.Of course this is what we do–click here for information on how we are continuing with our offerings to help you be your best self.