Fighting isolation during the COVID-19 crisis

mokup smartphone technology phone
Get ready to learn new things about technology!

There’s no doubt about it: It’s an ever-changing time. COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities, and many have taken to self-quarantining to feel safe. We’re washing our hands, avoiding touching our faces, and monitoring the news for more information. All of these things are important as we face a pandemic.

But another thing we have to be aware of is loneliness. Seniors already face isolation and loneliness more than any other sectors of our population. Now, as we’re all encouraged to stay isolated for our physical health, what can older adults do to keep from feeling lonely and depressed?Here are a few suggestions, taken from various sources:

man in black suit jacket holding phone
Keep in touch with your friends and loved ones!

Stay in touch
Make sure you’re talking, sharing photos and videos, and hearing the voices of the people who are important to you. If you’re active on social media sites, try to scroll past the scary posts and find a little levity.  If you’re not active on social media, now may be the time to learn! Most sites are pretty intuitive. Keep phone numbers and e-mail addresses handy so you can check in with your friends and family. Need tech help? Give SAIL a call at 608-230-4321!

You can also join SAIL’s Friendly Phone Caller List so you can socialize with other SAIL members by phone. Call us to get started!

Get outside
Get outside and feel the fresh air, even if it’s just for a few minutes! (We know, the weather has not been cooperating lately, but even if you can step outside for a second, it will help!)

man in black jacket wearing black headphones
Jam to your favorite tunes!

Listen to music
Music is a guaranteed mood booster! Try Spotify, a free music player where you can search for your favorite songs, or Pandora, a site that creates a customized radio station based on your tastes!

Try a podcast
Speaking of free great things to listen to, podcasts are all the rage, and now would be a good time to try some out! Here’s a list of 100 of the most popular podcasts out there, with everything from news to true crime to humor and more!

Stay active
Check out this YouTube channel especially for senior workouts! Even a few minutes of exercise will get your blood and endorphins flowing, and that’s a guaranteed mood-booster.

Set a routine
Is all of this throwing off your normal daily activities? Make a new schedule and stick to it. Allot time for checking e-mails, calling friends and family, exercising, reading, watching a movie, walking the dog, etc.  Go to bed and get up at the same time you’re used to.

Get the facts
A lot of information about COVID-19 is circulating. Some of it isn’t true, and some is downright scary. The best place to keep up with what’s going on is the World Health Organization. 

Travel from your Home
A great suggestion from our weekly e-mail! Now’s your chance to visit some of the many popular places located all around the world! Whether it’s a museum, national park, or the opera, check out the links below to go on a virtual tour.
– 12 Famous Museums
– 33 National Park Tours
– Nightly Met Opera Shows
Tip: Pick out a tour each day for you and a friend to do together. You can talk on the phone together during the tour or plan a time to share your thoughts afterward.

woman taking selfie
Don’t forget to laugh!

Get a good laugh
Here are a few sites to visit when things are feeling heavy: 

Myhumor.org
Bored Panda’s Humor Site
Reader’s Digest Jokes Page

The most important thing: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please call SAIL or a trusted friend. We’re all in this together, and we at SAIL want you to get through this as safely and happily as you can.

 

 

More links:
How older people can use tech to stay healthy and connected while avoiding coronavirus
Manage anxiety and stress during COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control)
How to avoid social isolation during coronavirus (AARP) 

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