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Are you taking care of your mental health?
Times are stressful right now. It's natural for all of us to experience heightened feelings of sadness and anxiety. To deal with those feelings, I practice yoga daily and stay connected with family and friends using facetime and other video chat technologies. Check out this blog post that has additional helpful tips on how to take care of your emotional health - https://blog.aarp.org/thinking-policy/covid-19-demands-attention-to-mental-health-too
What about you? What are you doing to protect your mental health?
- emotional health
- mental health
- psychological well-being
i live alone, i have no family to think of, i have friends but not the kind to call up, visit ect. so you can see what i have to look forward to. i have no one except god to talk to & that is all i need. i live because what else can i do? i love living alone i hate to have anyone in my house for more than 30 minutes so as you can see i don't need "company" to keep me mentally fit. all i need is GOD & financial assets to live a good life. i'll see my family again some day!
Lots of stretching and walking. I find a good book is a great way to forget about all the craziness that’s happening in the world right now. I find a few people to call or text every week and even though they may not be reaching out to me I feel better for making an effort to stay in touch.
Dear Stacy I feel for you no matter the exercise, or meditation I can not turn off the tears some days. I lost my husband 5 years ago this month, and moved and seeing to my 91 year old mom, thankfully who still lives by herself and in pretty good shape and so grateful for that...but still I need to be with her .
With the pandemic and the stuff going on in our government I hurt and cry. I keep a diary , because all the advice says journeling helps, yoga and exercise. but still I have COVID ANGER...I am trying so hard.
Stacy, Sounds like you have had a lot of loss and changes in your life. I am sorry for the passing of your husband. Moving closer to care for your mom, probably added to your loss of friends, support network and the comfort of familiar surroundings. Caregiving burnout is so common. As they say, "it takes a village." Do you have siblings who can help share the responsibilities related to your mom's care? Meanwhile, self- care ( healthful diet, exercise, sleep, hobbies and social contact ) is so important. Maybe a counselor and/or support group can help you deal with the understandable grief, anger and sadness you are experiencing. Praying for you.
I'm trying to. I live by myself which has it's own challenges and rewards but most days are okay although I have one or two a week where my pre-existing depression kicks in and really does a job on me. I walk most days for an hour, text, e-mail and call people. Music helps as does reading before bed. Turning off the news is the best thing I do although it's like driving a car sometimes: I wonder how we're supposed to see where we're going if we aren't watching the road!
I also volunteer at our local Senior Center which has been closed, of course, for a couple months but they continue to improvise and provide emergency support services to seniors and even the community. I'm about to begin co-facilitating a phone-in chat group with them once a week and that should help. I think hardest for me is lacking a feeling of purpose and being able to see and get hugs from friends and family.
As they say, though, this too shall pass.
I feel that I need to reach out not only on behalf of myself and to raise my voice for all of us 60/70 plus seniors who have become increasingly socially isolated due to the stay at home requirement, especially for those like myself who have few friends and/or family members to support us and an bring much needed love and caring on a personal level to us.
Today I am honoring my my 'anniversary" of staying at home for two straights months. There is much depression and sadness on our part, as well as anxiety; and though we are not front-line workers, I feel that we should be honored for the power of the human spirit that allows us to face continuous isolation and relative lack of human contact. I know that there are some mental health hotlines, and a number of senior centers are offering programs that help us survive the pandemic with that human touch, but I feel that my population needs more recognition and increased awareness that our culture, which does not always value the elderly as do some others, may have forgotten about us. I am reaching out for some guidance as to how to help create a task force or something along those lines to honor and help many who feel forgotten, sad and scared and most importantly, do more to help us get through this with dignity, grace, and sanity.
As a daily reader of The City NYC, I am reaching out to you for some ideas as to how I might help in the creation of a movement that focus on the elderly and their special needs. Or thoughts about who else I can reach out to to help this
" I am reaching out for some guidance as to how to help create a task force or something along those lines to honor and help many who feel forgotten, sad and scared and most importantly, do more to help us get through this with dignity, grace, and sanity."
That's a great thing to do and luckily now days there's all sorts of things available via the internet to help people stay connected virtually in these times of social distance. If you are on Facebook look into setting up Facebook LIVE video streaming sessions and invite your friends to join in. Periscope, YouTube Live, Zoom, and Streamyard all offer live video meeting places to see and interact with friends and families.
For decades now my parents (both late 80s) have started their day with a group of friends at the local donut shop. When Coronavirus hit the donut shop closed down and it was really hard on them. To help, I created the "Donut Shop at the Beginning of the World", a live video meetup on Facebook that runs every weekday morning from about 7:20am-8am Central time. It's been a true Godsend for everyone. You can see an example of what it's like here: https://www.facebook.com/ForagingTexas/videos/197685872911096
Now, more than ever, is not a time to be alone. Humans are social creatures and our brains require social interactions. We need to feel like we're loved part of a "tribe". Sometimes you just need to build the tribe yourself. But what's cool is now days you can! 🙂
As a "senior" of many many years. I have always been worried, when I have seen others forget words or even falling into Dementia in their older years. Many years ago, I discover that getting involved in computers sharpened my brain. by making me think is a different manner.
After years of becoming quite knowledgeable in this area. I also discovered playing computer games, made me exercise my brain, because of the amount of things that I have to memorize when playing.
I find that I can recall words in a quicker manner that I used to. and when I loose a word. I try to associate it to others so that they "stay" in my brain.
I feel so bad for your situation. I am not a doctor but I have been dealing with severe anxiety and panic and bipolar for years. So I can sympathize with you. I went to a mental health program for over 3 years and learned a lot of good coping techniques. With my anxiety I take deep breaths and let it out slowly while thinking of " the happy place ." For example mine is the beaches I went to on my trip to the Philippines. This works so well for me. I saw a segment on my local news which is Philadelphia. The elderly could call there local police to come over to not only to check on you but to also spend a little with you through the door. Maybe hopefully you police department will do the same. I will be praying for you to feel better. Linda
It's kind of day to day with me. Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down. I try not to obsess on this stuff, like someone suggested. I watch videos and always in a book. Weather is more decent now, Nice to get out for walks. Always wear my mask in public. MISS THE LIBRARY. One of my favorite places.
i take care of my "mental" health by keeping my mind off the subject. i watch t.v. keep focused on content & pretend i'm a part of their world. that keeps me from falling apart plus reading good books; a good mystery or spy novel works just fine. just keep your mind occupied on other subjects & everything will be just fine!
Being an introvert means that this is just an enforced choice of isolation. I had done my best to avoid busy times and more than 3 people for decades. I walk, snowshoe, disc golf, and play lots of computer games. I recommend Division 2 for hard-core pandemic heroism. I recommend Table Top Simulator for those who want to play more conventional games with friends including D&D. There are tons of others and most include an option to socialize, make friendships as you achieve goals, and learn new skills including technology. Having an evening playing a popular real estate game with three other friends on-line is wonderfully rewarding.
- I call at least 3 people per day to check on them and see how they're doing and see if they need anything. I walk every morning for about a mile or 2. I meditate. I write. I try my best to stay in the presnt and stay within my boundaries. I'm pray for those suffering and try to contribute anything I can to alleviate it. Every day I make a mental gratitude list. I am grateful.
I like a frequent written or mental gratitude list. Aside from moments of beauty and interest in nature , like animals or walk in shade or nice flowers, I recall periods in my life of more enjoyable times. I also enjoy a brief time to recall a person who noted my prior or recent help or themself were showing they were appreciative. We elder citizens , in this bad pandemic time have, for an unknown time period, given up majority of our established support net of varied social outings & support groups. Movie streaming, reading, some walks in nature great, but fall short. Our loss is not compensated from New sources, we just suffer loss.
Celebrate Black Music Month and learn more about the powerful connections between music and health during an AARP virtual performance featuring R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn on June 28, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Register Here.