How to Stay Mentally Strong During Difficult Times
The seniors in our country are facing unprecedented stress and concern. As seniors, we directly rely on the visitations from friends and loved ones to keep upbeat and feel connected. During these hard times, it’s important for us to focus on our mental health. Our mental health is a direct contributor to our physical health. We can stay strong during these hard times and overcome together. Here’s some tips to help us feel good and persevere.
1. Play Mind Games
Just as the body needs physical activity and stimulation to stay healthy, the brain needs stimulation to stay sharp and avoid cognitive decline. During difficult times, it is best to NOT ruminate on all of the bad, but focus on all of the good. Remember all that is good in your life, the memories you hold near and dear, the people you love and the people that love and have loved you. Think of the strides our country has made to make sure that their seniors are well-taken care of and the access we have today to medical care, so we can leave comfortably. Remembering your blessings and keeping a positive mindset will help you ride this new storm.
Do activities that keep you positive and engaged:
- Reading, writing and journaling can alleviate stress and anxiety. Send your loved ones snail mail, a letter. Your loved ones and grandkids will enjoy the surprise, as they may be also dealing with confinement and isolation to their homes.
- Play an instrument, listen to music, write a song or sing. Music stimulates the brain and improves memory.
- Get out those puzzles. They can take your mind off of the negative. You may not be able to control what is happening around you, but you can piece together your own creation for a time.
- Play games including online games like yahtzee with family members and friends. Ask your caretakers to download games on your phone, computer or tablet if it’s a possibility.
- Paint and Draw. For those of us who are artist, this can take us into a whole new realm of creativity. YouTube has lots of vidoes on various painting and drawing techniques.
2. Get Physical
You can do simple exercises even from your room. Put on some catchy music and get your blood flowing. Stretch, walk or jog in place, practice bending up and down. It’s pretty easy to work up a healthy sweat with a simple daily exercise routine in the comfort of your room. You can find good workouts for seniors on YouTube.
3. Stay Connected with Loved Ones Even When They Can’t Visit You
We live in the most technologically advanced time on earth, and we can use that during difficult times to keep our spirits up. Schedule calls with your loved ones and friends. Learn to text your loved ones. Use apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp so that you can see your loved ones. Ask your caregivers to make sure your devices are set with large fonts and practice using these technologies so you can stay connected. Savvy seniors are even learning how to download games and play with family members and friends. It might take some practice, but it’s certainly doable.