In the present evolving pandemic we presently find ourselves living through, now is a timely opportunity to raise awareness that being alone for some in later in in life can be difficult. Did you know that 1 in 3 elderly people have become lonelier since the start of COVID-19 than they were earlier in the year? On the understanding everyone copes quite differently when there is less face to face contact with the outside world, there is more than one way to manage during these unsettling times as people’s experiences will tend to be varied. This blog offers a pick & mix of positive strategies to think about which we do hope will help ease the bite from being at home alone for longer periods of time:
- Connection can mean many things in the 21st century and we are lucky to have the technological wherewithal to be instantly in touch with our friends and relatives from afar and actually see them too, all at the touch of a button. Though we are limited in our more traditional forms of direct contact these days, writing letters are also helpful at this present time, either by e-mail or even handwriting a letter to a pen-friend. Maybe the time has come to resurrect the art of letter writing again whereas it is possible to make some new friends along the way.
- Keeping the Body and Mind active is a great way of keeping in touch both with your mental and physical health. If you are feeling lonely, finding some kind of distraction is a useful tool to enhance wellbeing, usually by doing some kind of exercise or carrying on with a hobby.
- Though being on track with the key essentials within your life like a balanced diet and enough medicine supplies comes as a constructive preoccupation, it doesn’t mean you can’t reward yourself from time too time with the odd treat or luxury which makes all the difference especially after feeling low.
- Routine and structuring the day is possibly helpful if you have lots of unstructured time on your hands during the day. Keeping some kind of routine affords the bonus of saving time so that you can do other things you enjoy for longer.
- Something new to do? Introduce new elements into your life so that it feels that time is not standing still but progressing from week to week. This can be something as simple as moving furniture around the home for a change of scene or alternatively, reading something completely different from normal and embarking on a journey of discovery.
- Some say that those in later years are more adept at achieving a calmer mindset. Having a tranquil demeanour is definitely an advantage especially where there is a risk of information overload from rolling media coverage 24/7, so rationing the amount you take in is often a way one can prevent overstimulation and stress during the more uncertain periods of the pandemic.
- Fake or false medical theories may be harmful in the combat against the pandemic. Social media can be a hot spot for rumours to start so be aware of this issue when trawling through twitter and Facebook etc. Focus on the facts, medical evidence and the latest official advice from the NHS and Government updates. Rumours are at risk of being wrong and should be regarded with a certain degree of scepticism unless they are backed up by official channels e.g. NHS and trusted local organisations.
- Finally, if you can find solace by dwelling on the positives of what life brings, even if they seem few and far between, you may find comfort by building on them in times of uncertainty. Also accepting outside pressures we can’t change may be just the ticket to turn a challenging experience into something more manageable and within reach. However, it’s certainly ok not to feel ok so being gentle with oneself is definitely a way of dealing with depression and other mental health problems should they occur.