Apr 28

Coping with Isolation

For some older adults, spending much of their time at home is an everyday reality due to physical challenges or other health issues. Now all of us are spending more time at home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We can learn a lot from senior citizens who do this regularly and are good at coming up with many ways to enjoy their days. Given that internet is not available to everyone and that its speed may be impacted by a surge in people working remotely, we are sharing ideas that limit the use of technology. Not all ideas will be of interest or accessible to everyone, but we hope this list sparks something pleasant for everyone.

  • Read a book- look through your bookshelf and find that book you never read but were meaning to or find an old favorite and savor rereading it.
  • Do a puzzle- many of us have a jigsaw puzzle or two in the house. Now may be the time to tackle putting it together.
  • Try word puzzles- many newspapers and magazines you may have at home will have a crossword puzzle, a word search or sudoku. Challenge yourself to try one.
  • Exercise- can’t go to the gym or your favorite activity at the senior center? What is safe and healthy for you to do at home? For some it may be pushups and jumping jacks and for others it may be knee lifts, arm raises, or knee extensions done sitting in a chair.
  • Music- turn on the radio, find your favorite station and listen to music that makes you feel good. Maybe you will even feel like dancing to it!
  • Phone a friend- while we may be limited in visiting with others in person, a phone chat may brighten your day and theirs.
  • Organize something in your house. Does your junk drawer or your sock drawer need some tidying? Have you been intending to organize those recipes you have clipped from newspapers or acquired from friends?
  • Write a copy of a few family favorite recipes and give them to the next generation.
  • Write a letter- this is a great way to catch up with someone without seeing them. A letter can be reread and enjoyed many times by the recipient.
  • Create a snack or meal- what ingredients do you have on hand and what can you make with them for a tasty snack or meal?
  • Do you have a neglected musical instrument in your home? Dust it off and see if your old skills come back.
  • Pull out a deck of cards and play a few rounds of Solitaire
  • Draw or doodle- not everyone has art supplies or is skilled at drawing, but most of us can find pen or pencil and paper. Try your hand at sketching or creating a detailed doodle.
  • Mindfully look out the window. We all have different views and we may not consider them particularly scenic but take the time to observe detail. Will you see a bird, a leaf blowing in the wind, a cloud that’s shape looks like something to you, some stars, details on a building that you have never noticed before?
  • Pull out your photo albums from a prior time in your life and look through them.
  • If it is safe for you and possible, get some fresh air. Open a window, go for a walk keeping your distance from others, take some deep breaths in your yard, patio or balcony.
  • Write- just like doodling or sketching, we can all do this in different ways. Start a journal, draft a short story, write a haiku or poem. Older Americans Month is observed in May and the theme this year is #MakeYourMark. One of the suggested ways to do this is to share your story. Each of you has a story from your careers to travel to adventures in your life. Now you can share your story at https://springwell.com/make-your-mark/.

We are all living through a difficult time of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and potential illness and complications from this unprecedented virus. We all need to be responsible and kind.  It is our hope that these ideas can make your days a little more pleasant. Contact Springwell if you need information about where to turn for assistance to help you through this challenging time.