Coping with isolation

At the time of writing this article, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic with the UK in lockdown. There has been much concern around the mental health of individuals during this time and how people can maintain their mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown.

Many people have flagged changes to their general mood, appetite and energy levels over the past few months? Such side effects from the coronavirus pandemic are completely new to us.

For the retired population, lockdown has created some unique challenges. Whilst on one hand you’re told to protect yourself from the disease through social distancing, on the other hand you’re compromising your mental and physical wellbeing by becoming socially isolated.

So how can you strike the right balance? We have 5 suggestions that follow government health advise but aim to reduce the impact of social isolation:

  1. Try other forms of social contact. Technology can be a huge help if you’re unable to see family or enjoy usual social activities. Video calls on a mobile device are the next best thing to seeing someone in person, If you’re a technophobe like us, alternatives are telephone calls, letters or even the company of a pet.
  2. Keep your routine. If your regular social activities have been paused, try to find an alternative such as a socially distanced walk or a picnic with friends. Routine also helps with sleep patterns and is particularly important for anyone with an impaired memory, who could become anxious with change.
  3. Take up a new hobby. Drawing, knitting, growing vegetables – whatever it may be, it can help to keep you busy, keep worries away and challenge your mind.
  4. Self-care. Looking after your body with a combination of a nutritious diet and regular light exercise will have a range of benefits, including maintaining good immune function, strength, flexibility and coordination, which can reduce the risk of falls.
  5. Ask for help. If you’re isolating or vulnerable, you may need help with simple errands such as collecting medication or food shopping. Call on friends or family for assistance, or if you are unsure of where to turn, we can help with providing many domestic services, no matter how small!