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Even though the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing us to keep safe distances from others—we can still stay connected. Here are helpful tips, resources and information to keep your healthy routines going.
Keeping up with your health is more important than ever
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends we all avoid crowds and close contact with others and stay at home as much as we can. With this guidance, it may feel challenging to stay connected with others while also maintaining your health routine.
Here’s some more help from the CDC:
- Give yourself a breather from watching, reading or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about coronavirus repeatedly can be upsetting. Instead, limit exposure to media and monitor the situation through government websites, like www.USA.gov and www.CDC.gov.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Ask for help. Ask for help. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Keep healthy distances
The CDC recommends we all maintain what’s called “social distancing,” which means avoiding close contact with others, to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 or spreading it. For your safety and well-being, stay 6 feet away from others who are coughing or sneezing, and avoid crowds as much as possible. If you do need to get out, remember to thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands before and after visits, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Keep a healthy routine for your mind
While social distancing can make us feel lonely and socially isolated, there are still lots of ways you can stay connected, be active and maintain meaningful relationships with others:
- Call and text with friends, family and neighbors
- Video chat others from your laptop, tablet or smartphone using Facetime, Skype or other video chat technologies
- Perform using video chat, like playing an instrument for friends or reading a bedtime story to a child
- Use social media like Facebook, Instagram or other platforms to connect with old friends and share pictures with others
- Mail cards or handwritten letters to loved ones
- Volunteer to write letters to someone battling depression through
- Email others, sending pictures and sharing stories
- Check out virtual programming from local institutions, places of worship, community centers and more
- Create new traditions like virtual book clubs, virtual outings, and even virtual dance parties with family and friends
- Take up a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try, whether it’s yoga, daily meditation, or learning a new language through free mobile apps
- Play online games, like word scramble and cards, using free mobile apps
- Go outside to enjoy porch sitting, gardening or chatting with neighbors from safe distances
- Get active by going on walks around your neighborhood or exercising on your porch or patio area
Connect with these resources to help.
There are resources in your community to help you create and build social connections.
Your support with your health plan
Some health plans may include mental or behavioral health support. Plans may also include virtual appointments for medical and/or behavioral healthcare, allowing you to receive care without leaving your home. Call the number on the back of your health plan member ID card to see what benefits may be available.
Disaster Distress Line
Call for immediate counseling for anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
1-800-985-5990 (TTY: 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Mental Health America
Access local and online support groups, mental health programs and services and more.
AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect
Connect with a network of local programs and resources to build social connections.
Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line
Call this toll-free line for a friendly conversation and the caring ear of a trained volunteer. Accredited for people age 60 and older as well as adults living with disabilities.
1-800-971-0016 (TTY: 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Eldercare Area Agencies on Aging
Find trustworthy, local support resources for older Americans and their caregivers.
1-800-677-1116 (TTY: 711), Mon – Fri, 9 am – 8 pm EST
Connect with caregiving experts to help you find the right information you need to help you navigate your complex caregiving challenges.
1-855-227-3640 (TTY: 711), 8 am – 7 pm EST