Staying connected to maintain our mental health and well-being is important especially as we age. Keeping in touch with friends and family gives us the opportunity to talk, share our problems, enjoy a laugh or take the focus off our problems and we can take time out to enjoy the company of others. But how do we cope with the loss of connection as self isolation and social distancing become our normality?
This is particularly relevant for the elderly or retirees who once had an active social life and are now climbing the walls at home feeling bored, overwhelmed and ‘trapped’. As senior travel plans with friends may have been put on hold for now, we need to find creative ways to stay connected and entertained in these uncertain times. In collaboration with Retirement Now, here are five practical ways to do that:
5 ways to stay Connected to maintain our Mental Health & Well-Being
During this time of isolation, technology can be a positive tool and resource to help us maintain some outside contact with family, friends and the world. It can also be a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle – physically and mentally.
1. FaceTime with your Grandchildren & Family
One of the difficulties of self isolation is the limits it puts on seeing our grandchildren, our family and friends. This can have a detrimental effect on our mental health and well being. I sure miss the hugs and physical connection with my grandsons. However, using technology such as FaceTime can still bring us joy and daily interaction with our loved ones.
No mobile phone or computer? Back in the day we used the telephone to call people and although it might seem everyone has computers and mobile phones, there are some elderly who don’t. Remember to check in with loved ones, give them a call and have a chat.
2. Social Media Groups
There are many social media groups, particularly on Facebook who have increased their support and connection. Like-minded members are staying in touch, chatting and supporting each other on a daily basis.
3. Meditation Apps
Whilst connection with others is an important factor in our well-being, taking time to reflect, meditate and be mindful is also important. There are many apps available which provide guided meditation and breathing techniques to overcome anxiety and improve self-reflection.
4. Online Workouts
Staying physically fit has a positive effect on our mental health. As gyms and personal training sessions close temporarily, many have moved online. You can still workout in the comfort of your home and feel like you are in a class.
5. Virtual Book Clubs
Can’t get to your regular book club meeting because of COVID-19? Why not set up a virtual book club? My friend, Donna Connelly from Retirement Reflections recently told me that her book club were determined not to let the Coronavirus affect their meetings. They set up a virtual book club using Zoom and had members from several countries join in. Zoom is a free resource which will enable you and your friends to still have your meeting but in a safe environment. The free version only allows 40-minute meetings, but at least it is a start.