4 Ways Seniors Can Practice Self-Care during COVID-19
The last year has been a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least. COVID-19 has taken a toll on a lot of people’s physical and mental health as it rages around the world. Hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel while dealing with daily uncertainty is challenging. Taking care of yourself can take a backseat during turbulent times, but it is more important than ever.
“COVID-19 can be very isolating for seniors who are trying to stay safe, but it can also give people a chance to focus on their own needs,” says Cynthia Oliva, director of nursing at Cedar Crest Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “Make a conscious effort this year to take better care of yourself—mentally, physically, and emotionally.”
Focusing on some simple steps to care for your physical and emotional well-being can have a dramatic impact on your health. Here are a few ways you can practice self-care during COVID-19.
Get Adequate Sleep
Did you know a bad night’s sleep does more than leave you groggy the next day? Yes, there’s the inevitability of feeling irritable as well, but missing out on sleep can have deeper effects than you realize. Make it a priority to try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Along with being less grumpy in the morning, you might also feel happier and less stressed. Research has also shown sleeping well can lower risks for serious health conditions and improve immunity.
Exercising regularly should be at the top of your list to take care of yourself during COVID-19. There are many benefits to getting physical exercise, no matter what kind of workout suits you best. Building up your strength not only makes you feel better physically, but it can help decrease stress, boost your mood, and build immunity. When you’re trying to get through a pandemic in good physical and mental health, exercise is a great tool. Don’t worry if your workout doesn’t look the same as it did when you were in your 20s: Getting moving is what is most important, whether you go for regular walks, start doing yoga, or lift light weights.
If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, you aren’t alone. Being isolated from friends and family and worrying about staying healthy can be incredibly taxing. Meditation doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it can have a big impact on your stress and mood. It can help you work through thoughts and feelings that are making you feel anxious and release tension. Meditation and mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways. Find something you are comfortable with and incorporate meditation into your daily routine to reduce stress and anxiety.
Take Care of Hygiene
When you’re staying at home a lot and sticking to virtual visits with friends, it might be easy to let some things slide a little. Maybe you spend a little more time in sweats or don’t take as much time putting yourself together each day. Make sure to keep up on your personal hygiene, both with the big-ticket jobs like cleanliness and smaller things like doing your hair and makeup or wearing nicer clothes. Good personal hygiene is not only important for your physical health, but it can also boost your self-esteem. Those extra minutes getting ready in the morning can help you feel better throughout the day.
Taking care of yourself is vital throughout your life, but especially when times are hard. It might take some extra effort, but making the big and small changes are worth it when it comes to your health.