How to Combat Social Isolation
(Family Features) Even before COVID-19 limited social contact with friends, family and colleagues, many adults experienced loneliness and depression due to limited contact with others. Now, a year after the pandemic forced many people into even greater levels of isolation, the issue of social isolation is especially prevalent in Americans over the age of 50.
A little creativity and a commitment to filling time productively can help reduce the strain of being alone until it’s safer to resume social activities.
Use technology to connect with loved ones. Video chats and traditional phone calls can help you feel connected even when you can’t be together in person. While a drop-in call can be fun, consider arranging regular visits with kids and grandkids. If you schedule calls throughout the week, you’ll have something regular to look forward to and can benefit from a check-in that affirms everyone is healthy and safe.
Make time for physical activity. Staying closer to home may mean you’re not getting the exercise you once did, but it’s important for your health to stay active. Regularly using your muscles helps keep your body strong, and even light physical activity a few times each week can help keep your cardiovascular system fit for better heart health. Regular exercise can also provide a range of positive mental health outcomes, including reduced stress, anxiety and depression, and improved memory.
Volunteer in your community or consider virtual volunteering. Helping others is a way to release feel-good endorphins for yourself. While your limited social calendar may afford you some extra time, inquire with local nonprofits about how you can contribute to their causes. Especially as funding for charitable organizations has dropped, volunteers are still essential to most nonprofit organizations, whether the help comes in person or virtually. Even from a distance, you may be able to help with tasks like making calls to donors, assisting with mailings or planning fundraising campaigns.
Learn a new hobby or skill. Another way to fill your free time, and reap some positive energy, is to explore a new hobby or skill. The personal satisfaction of learning and focusing your mental energy on something that interests you can help offset the disappointment of being away from those you love.
Please support the Monroe County Appeal & Ralls County Herald-Enterprise by subscribing today!