You’re fortunate that you haven’t contracted COVID, and you may even have received your first dose of a vaccine, but you likely have been laid low by the other scourge: the quarantine. I’ve talked about the ill effects – particularly among older adults – of the enforced isolation to tamp down the spread of COVID-19. Yet, there are active steps all of us can embrace to not just survive this pandemic, but to thrive.
Here are Six Simple Steps you can take daily to help body, mind and soul get from lethargy to energy:
- Sunshine – It’s particularly challenging this week to get outside, but sunshine boosts the mood; try a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lamp, if you can’t get to the real thing.
- Steps – I know that 10,000 steps a day is the often recommended dose of walking, but even 5 or 6,000 can boost your mood and burn carbohydrates.
- Speaking – It doesn’t have to be a ZOOM call, but reach out regularly to people in your orbit; a number of Clubs who are not meeting these days are working phone trees, because human connection is important.
- Social – But not social media and news is what you need; limit the time you take in the news or scroll on your FB page – they have made it addictive, so don’t get hooked.
- Share – We get through crises, because we know how to give and also to receive. If you have an older neighbor or loved one, recognize they may not ask for help…so don’t wait for the request…offer.
- Slack – Cut yourself some. We all set goals and we all have high expectations of ourselves, but you need to show grace to yourself just as you would with others.
As you can probably tell, this list could go on and on. Most of these revolve around having a heightened sense of what is good for you and also a sense of what would be beneficial for others, especially older loved ones with cognitive issues like dementia. We are social creatures who benefit from the good will of others and from giving to others. Please pass it on; you’ll be better for having done so.
Charlotte Bishop is a Caregiver Coach, an Aging Life Care Advisor, a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Care Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. She also is the co-author of How Do I Know You? A Caregiver’s Lifesaver for Dealing with Dementia.