Right now is an extremely stressful and trying time for everyone experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. The community is being asked to stay indoors and practice social distancing. This is especially important for aging adults, to prevent the virus from spreading and to protect themselves from this respiratory virus. While staying indoors may be best for protection from exposure at this time, it also comes with a potential downside. Being alone and not having the personal connections that we may have had in the past can cause depression, agitation, anxiety, and social isolation. So what activities can we do at home to keep busy cognitively and physically to help ward off these potential feelings or emotions?
Step outside your front door for just a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air and take in some Vitamin D. Vitamin D and fresh air decrease depression dramatically as it produces serotonin in the body. Serotonin in the body regulates mood, social behavior, appetite and digestion.
Put a puzzle together.
Check into getting a Grandpad. A grandpad includes games, messages to families & friends, Facebook, plus more. They are also extremely easy to use for aging adults.
Adult coloring books. This is truly therapeutic!
Do seated chair exercises. Leg lifts in your chair, arm raises, etc. You can also try light weight & resistance bands.
Crossword puzzle or word search.
Sew (This is very helpful right now. A lot of hospitals are looking for more face masks!)
Clean out your house. Go through some of your items/clothes you no longer need. Set things aside to donate when housing restrictions are lifted.
Shop Hy-Vee aisle online. They will deliver your groceries for you and it's always fun to shop!
Facetime or Skype your family.
Write letters or cards to your family. You can also write to other aging adults in nursing homes/assisted livings.
Start growing plants from seed so they are ready for your garden!
Bake. This may be something you haven't had the chance to do in a long time. There are also many recipes out there that are no-bake options.
Give yourself a manicure. (Gentleman can enjoy this too!)
If you are able, go on a walk around the block. Enjoy nature!
There are many more ideas to keep yourself occupied even thought it may require you to try something new. In times like these you may want to reach out and ask a friend or look online and see what others might be doing to decrease loneliness or boredom. Don't be afraid to get creative! Utilize this time to spend with your family and connect even if it's through a window, over the phone, with Facetime or other means of electronic communication. Appreciate the outdoors and mother nature. Need more ideas? Call one of our communities in Cedar Rapids, Marion, or Burlington. We're here for you and care that you stay healthy and safe both inside and out.