Five Ways Seniors Can Stay Happy and Healthy While Self-Isolating

Senior woman on laptop

Everyone has a part to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the most vulnerable from the disease—which is why we must practice social distancing right now.

Just because you have to stay home for your own good doesn’t mean you can’t have a front-row seat to life’s pleasures and inspirations. Here are five ways you can stay happy and healthy while self-isolating.

Stay Connected to Family and Friends
When it’s not possible to be there in person, the next best thing is to stay in touch with family and friends by writing a letter, sending an email or text, making a phone call, or scheduling a virtual get-together, which is all the rage right now thanks to technology.

Have fun catching up with your social circle no matter where they are by using virtual conferencing software and apps like Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom. Virtual get-togethers are so versatile, you even can enjoy meals, play games, attend club meetings, and sing or play instruments together. Even popular entertainment services are getting into virtual socializing. Netflix now offers a feature that lets groups watch the same programming simultaneously with in-app chatting.

Setting a goal to check in with at least two loved ones every day can keep your spirits high.

Keep Active
Keeping up your active lifestyle may help maintain a healthy immune system, but it’s easy to loosen your exercise schedule when your regular routine must change. The easiest thing to do is try and avoid sitting for long periods and adapt your regular exercise habit for self-isolation.

That means working out at home with YouTube videos, resistance bands, a stationary bike, or a chair for yoga. Blakeford has a Fitness Room / Wellness Center that remains open by appointment only for our residents to use one at a time.

If you need a class for motivation, the National Institute on Aging offers an extensive video collection of fitness activities for seniors online, and many exercise instructors offer online exercise programs.

Try a New Hobby … or Indulge in a Favorite One
elderly woman knittingSelf-isolation gives you more time to explore new interests and find creative ways to free your mind. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn watercolor painting, cross-stitching, poetry writing, model making, woodworking, or otherwise—now is the time to try it. Find yourself an online tutorial or instructional course, and try that new hobby.

When was the last time you read a book cover to cover or turned on your ham radio and listened? It’s time to pull those projects out of drawers and revitalize them.

Get Cooking in the Kitchen
Eating healthy foods is important for good health and well being, and making meals at home is a great way to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need—without the extra salt.

Having lots of time on your hands is essential to practice your culinary skills and create those gourmet dishes you drool over in the latest food magazine or cooking show. You’ll even have time to plan your meals, which is important for grocery shopping and meal prep in the time of a global pandemic. Many chefs have recipes that use only what you have on hand or in the pantry. Those may be the ones to try first.

Plus spending time cooking in the kitchen also can be a great stress reliever.

Stay Involved
As the world population adapts to social distancing, people and organizations from all walks of life are creating ways to nurture the spirit, often at no cost.

Museums, zoos, and aquariums are offering virtual tours, and religious entities and spiritual leaders are streaming services. Rangers who work in the National Park System are leading virtual hikes, musical artists are giving free online performances and entertainers are creating special online content for fans all over the world.

Nonprofits are offering ways you can help raise money, give time, and donate food. It’s the best time to get involved and serve your fellow man.

If there’s anything we can do here at Blakeford to make you more comfortable, please reach out.