Those who are a caregiver may be familiar with the feeling of social isolation. It is already a part of the caregiving experience to some degree. Some caregivers feel as though they have no one who can relate to them or share their expertise. Add in COVID-19, the lockdowns, and that feeling of isolation can be exasperated. This is a time for caregivers to prioritize their mental health; we have a few tips on coping with and preventing social isolation during COVID-19.
Keep to a Schedule
During COVID, it is not out of the ordinary to feel like the days are merging. Making a daily schedule filled with small activities, to-do items, and tasks can help you stay busy and occupied. Completing a to-do list or keeping to a plan can create a feeling of productivity and provide a sense of purpose. Try incorporating time to check in with family and friends and even schedule time to go for a walk or some well-deserved "me time."
Watching the news can be overwhelming, especially right now. It is essential to understand what is going on and what you can and cannot do. We recommend these resources for great up-to-date information:
Don't Feel Guilty
Making yourself a priority is no reason to feel guilty. During COVID, it may feel like there is no break and no time for you. Sometimes just 5 minutes to yourself is all you need to recharge your batteries. Remember to take time each day to do something for yourself. Looking for Respite care programs, get in touch with Metta today!
Making time for your physical health is just as important as your mental health. Take time to look through these resources to find an online workout designed for seniors and help with finding the right one for you. Another option is to go for a walk outside if that is accessible to you.
Staying engaged and keeping busy as a caregiver is crucial during these times. We recommend finding meaning throughout your day. Use your downtime to connect with the person you're caring for or other friends and family members. A helpful tip is to practice gratitude throughout your day. Gratitude adds meaning to the day's mundane tasks; try to focus on different things each day. Start with three items and increase daily. You'll be amazed at how well this activity works.
A great thing to come out of COVID-19 is the increased support available virtually. It is easy to schedule a time to join a virtual talk or gathering with other caregivers. If you're looking for caregiver support, visit The Ontario Caregiver Organization for resources.
Live in the Moment
Staying focused on the present may be a daunting task and can be far more complex than anticipated, but it is essential to remember to live in the moment! There is a light at the end of the tunnel as Canadians begin to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Caregivers should not be so hard on themselves and should not ignore their emotions but try to practice positive self-talk and maybe incorporate meditation to help through challenging times.
If you're a caregiver who needs a break due to mental or physical reasons, Metta Lifestyles offers short-term stays. To learn more, get in touch with a representative today.