Page 21 - Senior Times South Central Michigan December 2020 - 27-12
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Senior Times - December 2020 Page 21
 possible, you play a larger part in humanity by keeping yourself and others safe. What you are doing is crucial to our society getting through this together.
aging the household, you may forget to take care of yourself.
Make sure you continue to eat healthy, exercise regularly (there are plenty of online classes), get enough sleep, and limit your social media intake. If these are not part of your daily routine use your new technology skills to get started. Meditation and exercising your brain can be valuable options for you as well. Doing these things can lift your spirits, boost your energy lev- els, and help you better care for loved ones at home.
• Meditate – Meditation has long been used to increase relaxation and calmness. There are lots of meditation apps you can choose from that easily download onto your phone or tablet. Just search your app store.
• Exercise your brain – It’s not healthy to be constantly focused on what’s happen- ing with COVID-19 while you are social distancing. Consider trying activities that stimulate your brain and take your mind off the coronavirus, like crosswords, Sudoku, or working on a puzzle.
• Practice yoga or tai chi – The ancient practices of yoga and tai chi have both been shown to improve mental and physical health. Whether it’s your first time or you are looking for new inspiration, there are plenty of apps, websites, and online videos to help guide you through your practice.
Find Gratitude in Challenges
 You may not have control of public health or public policy, but you do have control of how you’ll respond to the pandemic and do your part to control the spread.
Have your conversations and thoughts lately evolved into negativity? Stopping to “smell the roses” may seem difficult these days. If gratitude doesn’t come naturally for you – especially right now – you’re not alone.
Use Humor
Gratitude is something that with a little practice can become a regular habit. It can help remind you how special, precious, and fortunate we are and even help you cope bet- ter with the stress of these uncertain times.
While the pandemic is no laughing matter, go ahead and laugh – if you can. “When we laugh, we release endorphins and help reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which can help reduce fear and anxiety,” Dr. Singh said. “A good laugh can help lighten the mood and help you feel better overall.”
“It is a strong tool that we can use to reframe our thoughts and think about the sil- ver linings in our life,” Dr. Singh said.
 If you are starting to feel the weight of COVID-19, pop on a Netflix or Amazon comedy, subscribe to a funny YouTube chan- nel or connect with a friend or loved one on Zoom and share funny “remember when” stories.
Try writing down three things that hap- pened each day that went well, made you feel good, or gave you a sense of achieve- ment. It can be as simple as sitting down with your family to watch a movie. At first
it may be difficult when you feel like things are so dire, but with continual practice, things you are grateful for will become clear- er and ever-present.
Connect with Others
Being removed from family and friends, especially when you live alone, can be stressful. If you can’t be physically pres- ent, it doesn’t mean you have to be socially isolated. There are many ways to still feel socially connected.
[Check out “An Attitude of Gratitude: How to Promote a Positive Outlook” for tips]
You can:
• Set up regular Zoom/Facetime calls with
Are you using drugs or alcohol to cope? Are you not sleeping or eating well? If pan- demic fatigue is getting in the way of you properly caring for yourself and others, doc- tors are here for you, even in a pandemic. “It’s important to remember there is hope,” Dr. Singh said. “We are all sacrificing today for the greater public good and good is com- ing of that. Having hope will help us get through it.”
friends and family.
• Have physically / socially distanced hang-
outs outdoors with others.
• Schedule a Netflix party and watch a movie
with friends.
• Get old-fashioned and write a letter.
• Go on a physically / socially distanced hike
“Building in time each day to take care of our bodies and minds can go a long way in managing these multiple coronavirus-related stressors, increasing our chances of stay-
If you are in urgent need of mental health assistance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, offers a Disaster Distress Helpline, 24/7, 365-days-a-year. Call 1-800-985-5990.
or walk with a friend.
ing well,” said Brendon Comer, behavioral health therapist at Banner Health Clinic in Colorado.
Take Care of Yourself
When you are wrapped up with working from home, schooling from home, and man-
Seek Support
                                                  Meeting the needs
of those impacted by dementia.
DID YOU KNOW:
• 1 in 10 will wander
• Many will be unable to return on their own
• Law enforcement is engaged locally
• Movement matters
• Socialization matters
• Music matters
• Caregiver support is essential
• Documentation supports caregiver
• Research is finding solutions
• Training helps all caregivers
MILES FOR MEMORIES
SOLUTION:
• Personal I.D. Bracelet*
• G.P.S. Personal I.D. Watch*
• Help Home Program
• M4M Marathon
• Melodious Memories
• Vineyard of Memories Art
• Respite Care
• Senior I.D.*
• Annual community updates
• Training 30 minutes to 16 hours
* INCLUDES APP FOR CAREGIVER PHONE
During this time of cancelled events and fundraisers your support can help us to continue to meet the needs of Calhoun County. PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION TODAY. Checks should be made payable to BCCF/Miles for Memories.
Miles for Memories is a grassroots organization of volunteers committed to creating solutions for those impacted by dementia in Calhoun County.
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Serving all of Southwest and South Central Michigan including these cities: Battle Creek, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Benton Harbor, Coldwater, Hillsdale, Sturgis, Charlotte, and surrounding areas
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