As we practice social distancing from family, friends, and places that keep us connected, many of us are facing challenges to engage in practices that keep our mind, body, and spirit healthy. Limited physical activity and social interactions can potentially lead to harmful physical and mental health conditions, accelerate memory problems, and increase feelings of loneliness.
Mather Institute, an award-winning resource for research and information on healthy aging and community living, published an article identifying strategies to help older adults find ways to stay active and recognize the benefits of physical activity and other self-care practices.
Take a Walk: Having the sun on your skin provides key nutrients to keep your immune systems strong, stimulates your brain and senses, and can cause you to feel more joy, happiness, and decrease stress. Givens community is ‘walk friendly’ with sidewalks around each building, garden area, flowers, and gazebos to enjoy some shade if you need to rest.
Try A Virtual Exercise Session or Workout App: Many older adults are motivated to be active because of the social interaction of group exercise. Live virtual group or online activities can add a social component to being active and a feeling of being connected to others. You can use a smartphone, or DVD, and find many fun activity choices on YouTube. Make sure you choose an activity you enjoy like stretching, dancing, or yoga.
Stay Mentally Active: Keeping your mind active is important for combatting loneliness and improving memory as well. Flex your brain by drawing, writing/journaling, working on real or digital puzzles, read books, or explore the planet with Google Earth, practice meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Times of increased stress can be times when we can be more aware of the benefits of physical activity and practicing self-care behaviors. Take care of yourself…and make the most of each day by finding ways that you can enjoy being active! Enclosed are a few puzzles we hope can help you jump start your self care journey.
Cheryl Wallen, BSN/RN