We are social creatures. Human connections are a fundamental aspect of healthy living, especially for older adults because it is a key factor related to healthy aging. Older adults with social support are more likely to have better physical, mental, and cognitive health than those without close connections and relationships in later life. They may also live longer and cope better with their health conditions.
These days, we’re all being told to socially distance ourselves and we should take that advice. However, social distancing does not mean you have to isolate yourself. Many churches are doing online services or having church service that you can listen to from your car.
If you haven’t quite figured out how to use technology from your phone or computer, do so now. Facetiming or having a video conference with a loved one is a great way to feel connected. I had a friend that did a virtual social hour one night this week.
The most important thing to remember is that, if you’re feeling lonely, talk it out.
This situation is stressful. There is a virus spreading across the world and apparently no effective treatment yet. We know that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We need healthy ways to release stress without hurting others or making ourselves sick. The best thing to do is to talk about your stressors with people you feel safe with. Isolation and loneliness affect people differently. If you are prone to anxiety, depression or addiction, being alone can feel really scary.
If you have a few minutes, call a friend, a family member, or a loved one and check in on them. It’s easy to feel like you’re in this alone. You’re not. If you need help, get it. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available at 1–800–273–8255.
Christy Crow is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.