Each new day is bringing more information about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). And it can be a little overwhelming when the news is so serious, right? We understand and we don’t want to add more noise, worry or panic. So, we thought we would focus on some positives, like how to stay connected with others, even when you may not be in close proximity. Or ways to relax when you’re worried, get help if you need it and use this time to focus on the good.
But first, let’s get this out of the way.
We now know that anyone can get the Coronavirus, but seniors and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible. This is something we take very seriously. In fact, we began taking special precautions weeks earlier to protect Traditions residents, staff members, family members and other members of our community.
By now you know the things you can do to help, including diligent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, trying to avoid touching your face, getting enough rest, eating healthy foods and social distancing or self-quarantine, especially if you aren’t feeling well. These habits that will save lives.
If you’re not feeling well and need help, the people of Traditions are here for you every step of the way. And if you’re not part of a Traditions community, please reach out to a family member or friend who can help, call your doctor if you’re worried about symptoms or call 911 if you need immediate help.
Now, let’s get to the happy stuff.
Spring is coming. No matter what. The first official day of spring is Thursday, March 19. This means more daylight, things will begin to green up, the air is fresh and getting warm enough for a walk if you’re up to it.
Move a little. A body in motion stays happy. We’re strong believers in the power of naps and relaxation, but paired with a little movement, you’ll have more energy and feel better. Listen to your body and enjoy the endorphins.
Open a window for a little fresh air. If you can get outside to walk your yard or take a stroll, we hope you will. If not, open your window for a little fresh air.
Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy your favorite foods, but be sure you feed your body and mind with healthy fruits, vegetables and protein. Many grocery stores are setting aside special morning hours for seniors to shop, and you can take advantage of online ordering and curbside pickup or delivery.
You can also reach out to your family, friends, neighbors, church or to the Traditions community nearest you for someone to help with food delivery.
Enjoy a nap and get enough rest. Sleep can be elusive, especially when we have a lot on our minds. But stick to a schedule to train your body when to be tired. And if that includes a nap with a good book and a comfortable blanket, so be it. We’ve also heard it helps to have a cute and/or comfy pair of pajamas or two.
Stay in touch with people who care about you. If you can FaceTime from your tablet, laptop or phone, please do! Call your kids, grandkids, your friend from church or neighbor and see how they’re doing. There’s something about seeing someone’s face that’s reassuring, isn’t it?
Not sure how a FaceTime call works? Call or text your kids or grandkids and they can walk you through the steps.
Stay informed, but set some limits. Limit yourself to a few trusted sources, like the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov), the World Health Organization (WHO.int) and your favorite local news station or newspaper for more personal updates. Experts suggest checking a couple times a day (or whatever works for you), then moving on to other activities you enjoy.
Do things you enjoy. Of course, you’re saying. But how many of us put off the little things that bring us joy? They shouldn’t feel like luxuries. So, paint your nails, pull out a favorite recipe, do some baking, look through photo albums, play or cuddle with your cat or dog, take a walk, listen to or play your favorite music, write in a journal, play Solitaire or online Scrabble, do a puzzle or take the time to learn something new.
Believe in yourself and what you can do. Contrary to popular belief, there are a number of ways the brain actually improves with age. According to an article from CNN Health, older people can have more learned empathy, more cumulative experience that can make it easier to see patterns and the big picture and greater mindfulness about living in the present, all things that can mean more creativity, more connection and more clarity.
Learn something new. Start knitting, quilting, learning how to play piano or speak Italian. The human brain never reaches its full capacity, so if you can think it, you can give it a try.
Pray or meditate. Spend some time with Scripture, pray for the people who matter most to you, pay attention to your thoughts and your inner dialogue. You can even download apps like Calm and Ten Percent Happier to help you meditate and relax. Make sure you’re being as kind with yourself as you would be with others.
Make a list of things you’re grateful for. We don’t need a pandemic to be grateful for what we have. Make this one a habit and experts say you’ll be a happier and healthier person.
We hope you find ways to stay healthy and happy, and that you reach out to others to be sure they do the same. We’re here for you if you need us.