Quick Tips to Help with Depression & Anxiety During COVID-19
The aging process can have its own ups and downs. However, throw in social distancing and a pandemic and you can increase anxiety and depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging and with isolation and all the unknowns of COVID-19, it is important to try to keep our spirits up and our anxiety and depression down. How, you may ask? Here are a few tips to help you manage anxiety and depression during COVID-19 pandemic.
Quick Tips to help you cope with Depression and Anxiety
Try to Maintain a Routine of Some Sort.When the world or routine you know gets turned upside down, what do you do? At first maybe you think, hey this is fine. I can use a break in my routine. However, a break is fine for a little bit, but when it becomes a new normal, it can cause agitation, anxiety or depression. With the Coronavirus we need to try to have a routine and feel life purpose. If we don’t create a routine, we can get lost very quickly.
Try getting up and starting your day with a positive thought and be grateful for the new day. You can then start your day with your usual routine like getting dressed and having breakfast, and calling a family member or friend. Having those routines keep us mentally stronger and give us a sense of purpose and direction.
Diet: Eat Healthy. It sounds like a broken record when all you hear is “eat healthy” or “it's good for you.” However mundane it may sound, the advice is correct. There are tons of evidence and reports out there telling you how certain foods help build antibodies or help with your brain health. There is also information that explains how diet affects your mental health as well. According to recent studies, growing your own food helps lower your anxiety and decrease depression. The studies have shown a connection in soil bacteria and stress resilience. In addition, gardening gets you outside in nature and allows you to exercise while you enjoy creating and growing your own food and plants.
Keep Moving. Much like diet, exercise is good medicine. It is important to stay active and keep your body moving, especially during a time where you are to not be out and about or be social. You should get creative to keep moving. For example, call a family member and walk at the same time. You can catch up on socialization and walk around and keep moving too. Also, engage in activities like hiking, gardening, biking or bird watching. Getting outside in nature and moving is so good for the body, mind and spirit. If you cannot get out, make laps in your house or a room. The most positive thing you can do is just move and engage with others while you are maintaining social distancing.
Be Positive. This is the one thing you can control all day, every day! Wake up with a pleasant disposition to conquer the day. Be kind to others and help lift their spirits. For example, if you are bored, take time to send a graduation card to a senior you may know or take time to call a friend and Facetime over coffee. It is a choice each and every day to be positive or fall into the negativity camp. Try to limit how much news you watch. It can bring you down. Watch enough news to be informed, and then turn it off and listen to music or take a stroll. Being positive gives you a glow and purpose in life. Share your positivity with others. Positivity is great to spread unlike a virus!
Get Good Sleep. Need I say more? Rest is good for the body and mind. Make sure you relax and really rest. Turn off devices like iPads, phones and televisions, and relax your mind with a craft or book to wind down at night. Getting good rest keeps your immunity strong to help ward of any illnesses. With all the disruptions with COVID-19 , it is important to try to establish some sense of a routine and that includes sleep. Many of our aging parents or loved ones face isolation or worries that can cause anxiety and disturb good sleep. Help your loved ones with a nice call or sweet message to relax and let them know you are there for them. Reassurance plays a big part in relaxation and rest.
Social Environment. 2020 started out with a positive ring until mid March. Older adults that frequently received visits from their loved ones were put on hold. How do you keep your spirits high when you cannot see family or friends on a regular basis? Socialization is an important part of our physical and mental health with or without the virus pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic brought with it anxiety, depression, and isolation. What do we do now?
A few suggestions you can partake in while in an assisted or long term care facility, if there is access to technology, is FaceTime, or call your loved one to stay connected. Most facilities have iPads and phones to help you stay connected. Revert back to the old ways of letter writing and sending pictures or cookies to share with your aging parents or loved ones. Send a game to the facility that allows your aging parent or loved one to invite others to play and socialize too, with social distancing of course.
At the end of the day, we all need a little help with depression, anxiety, and isolation of our loved ones during this pandemic. A positive attitude and taking a deep breath to help muscle through a difficult time will pay off. Need help with your aging loved ones? Please contact us at Continuing Healthcare Solutions and we will do our best to help you with the aging process so your loved one can age gracefully and with dignity.