Visiting Angels Sarasota, FL Blog

Getting Back Into a Routine in the Midst of COVID-19

It’s been nearly four months since the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across our nation. In those first few weeks, many Americans were on edge as their routines and lifestyles were completely uprooted in order to stop the spread of the virus. The biggest cohort that was impacted the most were seniors. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to identify seniors and adults with severe underlying medical conditions to be at higher risk for complications should they contact the virus.

Elderly woman stretchingAs the year continues with no end to COVID-19 in sight, many seniors are feeling anxious, concerned, bored, and stuck. Continued delayed plans to see family and limited opportunities to leave the house has left a gap in the lives of seniors. As our nation slowly begins to return to our new normal, seniors continue to feel isolated and restless.

In the midst of this pandemic, it’s important that seniors find their new routine. Routines are essential for anyone, including retired seniors who have little on their agenda. A routine helps us feel grounded and gives purpose to the day. They offer a sense of calm in the midst of feelings of restlessness or anxiety. If you’re a senior and feel restless or stuck, here are a few ideas to help you get back into a routine.

Keep a Consistent Rhythm

The first way to get back into a routine is to re-establish a consistent rhythm of your day. Aim to wake up around the same time each day, avoiding sleeping in too late. Eat meals around the same time and avoid at the urge to snack frequently between meals. If you like to enjoy a nap, aim for a nap earlier in the afternoon so that your sleep isn’t impacted. Otherwise, skip napping altogether for a better night’s sleep. Stick to a similar bedtime each night and set yourself up for a successful night by turning off all electronics 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.

Include Daily Exercise in Your Routine

As you develop your consistent rhythm, be sure to include exercise each day. Many seniors shy away from exercise, thinking it has to be something long and intense. In reality, a brisk walk around the block or 15 minutes spent stretching or practicing yoga counts as exercise. Look for free senior fitness instructional videos on the internet or check them out from your local library. Then, treat exercise as an appointment. You can even writing it on your calendar so you’re more likely to follow through with your plan. Daily exercise releases endorphins that will help stabilize your mood and stave off feelings of restlessness and anxiety. Always have a conversation with your doctor before you start any new exercise routine.

Get Dressed Before Lunch

Many of us have fallen in the rut of staying in our pajamas for far too long. Some don’t even bother to get dressed. Yet, getting dressed is an important part of a daily routine. When you take the time to get dressed, your mood and mindset shift from idleness to motivation. Even if you’re not going anywhere or entertaining visitors, getting dressed is important. It sets the done for your day. So make an effort to brush your teeth, bathe regularly, put on a little make up or shave, and pick out a comfortable outfit before lunch.

Find One Productive Task to Complete

Another way to get back into a routine is to find one productive task to complete each day. This will give you purpose and help you keep track of the days of the week. For example, you can create a weekly cleaning schedule and clean one area of your home each day. Mondays could be bathrooms, Tuesdays, vacuuming, Wednesdays change the sheets, etc. If you have other hobbies or interests, make time for them during the week as well. Tend to your garden, finish that project that’s sitting in your garage, or become a pen-pal to your grandchildren. Finding new ways to stay busy will help the days feel less boring and will keep you from feeling lonely.

Join a Weekly Social Group

Finally, consider how you could participate in a weekly social group to help you get back into a routine. While some social opportunities are limited for seniors right now, there are creative ways to stay connected while practicing safe social distancing. If you were a part of neighborhood book club, reconvene in someone’s backyard or front porch. Invite local family to a weekly picnic outdoors. Look for other virtual social opportunities organized by your local library, senior center, or church. Social

Routines are vital for any stage of life, including your senior years. If you feel stuck in a rut, know that Visiting Angels Sarasota is here to help you get back into your routine. We offer a variety of senior home care services that help seniors stay safe and independent in the comfort of their own home. Because we are able to offer flexible scheduling, you do not need to change your routine to receive the care and support that you need. We would love to be a part of your routine moving forward. Please contact us today by calling 941-952-5800.




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