By Inter Valley Health Plan
The presence of the COVID-19 virus has changed our lives in many ways and while we are still trying to adjust, we need to find ways to cope and discover new ways of doing things – at least for now.
Here are 5 big changes you may have experienced this year and some tips how to re-establish healthy habits, find emotional support and continue to protect yourself from the impact of COVID-19.
1. Changes to Relationships
Social distancing and recommendations to stay home have altered how we stay connected. In-person visits with friends and family need to be carefully calculated and because even family gatherings are considered risky in this environment.
Tip: Don’t let physical distance hamper your relationships and don’t wait for others to plan ways to connect. Take the initiative yourself to meet virtually. Make a note on your calendar to call a friend you haven’t seen recently. Set up weekly FaceTime chats with your grandkids. Being intentional about connecting with others is critically important for our mental health and must be maintained during these uncertain times.
2. Changes to Going Out
All outings look different now and most are not even possible like going to see a movie or meeting up at the mall. Leaving your house can feel as complicated as planning an overseas vacation. Certain questions are now top of mind before leaving the house such as, is it even open? Can I go inside? Will it be too crowded? Is it even safe to go?
Tip: Choose your outings wisely. Right now, given the high risk of exposure, staying at home or at least close to home is best. Rather than being upset you can’t go to the movies or the mall, enjoy the convenience of online shopping and streaming movies – all from the comfort of your couch.
3. Changes to Healthcare
You may be hesitant to visit your doctor’s office or the hospital, but management of your health needs should remain a top priority.
Tip: For peace of mind, talk to your doctor’s office and pharmacy bout safety protocols in place along with using the option of telehealth (online doctor appointment) and prescription deliveries. Ensure you don’t skip your doctor visits, keep up with your vaccines and don’t delay a visit, especially if you have an illness or chronic condition that requires attention and ongoing management.
4. Changes to How You Shop
A leisurely stroll through the supermarket while drinking a cup of coffee has been replaced with panicked trips involving masks, gloves, social distancing, and copious amounts of hand sanitizer.
Tip: Order what you can online and have it delivered or use curbside pick-up. When you do go out to a store, choose the least busy time, ask if there are dedicated hours for seniors, and have a list that makes it easy for you to smoothly complete your trip. And of course, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer once you get in your car and immediately wash your hands when you return home.
5. Changes to Your Anxiety Levels
Living with the unknown and constantly changing updates related to the coronavirus pandemic has increased anxiety levels for many people. This uncertain time can even cause you to feel overwhelmed even by small life choices.
Tip: Try and focus on the positive by doing the following:
- Set up and stick to routines that keep you busy– leaving less time for worrying
- Take regular breaks from news coverage
- Write down your thoughts in a journal
- Maintain regular contact with friends and family virtually
Turning negatives into positives along with adjusting to the new normal is a good guide to manage all the change taking place right now.
Check out the schedule for Inter Valley Health Plan’s free online classes focused on health and vitality to help formulate your new routines.