Q: After a year of reduced activity, what can seniors do to improve overall well-being and health?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges over the last year, especially for our senior population. Seniors faced the risk of severe complications from the virus, as well as lifestyle changes, such as not being able to visit with their families or take part in their favorite activities, that threatened their overall well-being.
As we continue the fight against the pandemic, it is crucial for seniors to focus on aspects of life that can improve overall wellness.
A wellness plan should incorporate a variety of efforts that nourish the mind, body and soul. Seniors should take time to outline areas they are proud of, and areas where they would like to improve. It is beneficial for seniors to remember these key considerations on their journey to living a well-balanced lifestyle:
Get moving. Warmer weather and more daylight bring more opportunities for seniors to get outside for walks, stretches and exercise. Regular movement and exercise, whether indoors or outdoors, can contribute to improved mental health and overall well-being.
Start with small changes. Drinking more water each day and small changes in eating habits are two ways to start improving one’s wellness journey. Staying hydrated has multiple health benefits, such as regulating body temperature and preventing muscle fatigue. Making healthy dietary changes is as simple as incorporating a portion of vegetables into every meal. Focusing on small, achievable goals in the short term can set up seniors for future success.
Nurture personal connections and interests. Maintaining personal connections helps prevent depression as well as lift spirits. Seniors should make a point to call a friend or a loved one several times a week or on a weekly basis. These connections can remind seniors of the people in their lives who are there to provide support. Reestablishing ties with old friends or colleagues also can provide a sense of longevity and positivity.
Most important, seniors should not lose sight of all they have accomplished. Reflecting on progress helps people continue to set goals for the future.
If you have questions about tips or advice for maintaining your health and well-being, be sure to consult with your doctor.
Jill Schlosser is a registered nurse at Wesley Enhanced Living Doylestown.