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May 6, 2020: Staying well during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Living Single
Being physically away from our friends and loved ones for an extended period of time is something most of us have never experienced before and can bring feelings of social isolation.
Similarly, some of us may have loved ones who live alone, or are at high risk and not able to have visitors right now. Practicing social distancing may present barriers to meeting one’s daily physical and emotional needs. Here are tips on how to cope with living alone, and supporting loved ones living alone, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Stay connected with family and friends. Schedule regular video or phone check-ins with loved ones utilizing FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Houseparty or with a phone call.
- Maintain a routine. Maintain a regular wake-up and bedtime routine, and keep consistent times for meals, bathing, getting dressed, work or study hours, and exercise as much as possible. Make sure you have time in your day for doing something you enjoy! Having a consistent routine and staying busy can help you manage negative feelings during this time.
- Be physically active. Take a walk around your neighborhood, participate in an online fitness class or challenge yourself to try a new activity to stay fit.
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Eating nutrient-rich foods will help you feel better both mentally and physically, with the added benefit of improving your immune function.
- Do something you enjoy. Write in a journal, read a book, listen to music, go for a walk outside, cook a new recipe, or take up a new hobby. Find something that helps you relax and make it part of your daily routine.
- Limit media exposure. It is important to keep up-to-date on national and local recommendations, but constant coverage about COVID-19 can heighten fears and anxiety. Limit exposure to news coverage and make sure to reference reliable sources, such as the CDC, for information.
- Reach out for help if you need it. Call your primary care provider or mental health professional to ask about appointment options if you need additional support. For more affordable options, contact your EAP or reach out to your minister or someone in your faith community to locate additional resources that may be available to you.
SUPPORTING LOVED ONES
- Check in with your loved ones often. Use virtual communication or mail cards to keep in touch, support your loved one, and help them stay safe.
- Help ensure your loved ones are safe and prepared to live alone comfortably.
- Know what medications they are taking and ensure they have a 4-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications. See if you can help them have extra on hand.
- Monitor other necessary medical supplies and create a back-up plan.
- Stock up on non-perishable food and other essential items to minimize trips to stores.
- If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation and speak with facility administrators or staff over the phone. Ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak. Confirm with the facility, care package delivery options or the ability to do window visits with your loved ones.
- Stay home if you are sick. Do not visit family or friends who are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
|Sources: CDC and Mayo Clinic|