Senior Health

Grocery store shelves nearly bare in select aisles. Cancellations and shut-downs left and right. Disruptions of normal life in general … all cause for anxiety. And those of us who live and work in the world of seniors know they are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. That adds even more pressure.

BUT … As scary as this unfamiliar enemy might seem, the ensuing panic and related anxiety is taking a bigger and more immediate toll. “We are seeing increasing levels of anxiety [in the U.S.] over a relatively short period of time,” said Vaile Wright, director of clinical research and quality at the American Psychological Association

It’s important the anxiety itself does not exceed the impact of COVID-19, causing a domino effect reaching far beyond the virus itself. There are things you can do to remain calm and keep your thinking and actions under control to reassure yourself and others.

  • Breathe. Anxiety can cause us to hold our breath without even realizing it. Then comes the headaches and other issues. Make sure you take several deep breaths as often as possible.
  • Take a break from the news. Choose a couple of times throughout the day where you check in for updates. Listening to the constant commentary and speculation on COVID-19 can only wear on you.
  • Slow down on the caffeine. No explanation needed on this one.
  • Listen to music. It really does soothe the soul.
  • Meditate. You may not have access to incense and candles, but you can find a quiet closet or corner somewhere to steal 5 minutes of escape to your ‘happy place.’
  • Exercise. Be sure to get up and move around as many times throughout the day as you can. Bend, stretch, lunge, whatever you can do. There are ways to incorporate exercise even while you’re in the car. It will help you to de-stress.
  • Avoid procrastination. If you’ve had something you need to do, now may be the time to get it done. You don’t need any added anxiety on top of things.
  • Avoid alcohol. Trying times make it tempting to throw back a few stiff drinks. Alcohol is a depressant – so, avoid the temptation and go for water instead!
  • Talk. To your friends, coworkers and loved ones. If you’re showing anxiety and uncertainty, you will affect them too. Be the one who remains calm and shares that calmness with those around you.

Let’s all get through this together by staying focused, reassuring one another, and taking care of ourselves. It’s the best way to take care of those who depend on us.


Another tip: boost your happiness! Here’s how.