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Social Health for AgeEsteem

March 31st, 2020

To prevent COVID-19 you need to actively develop and maintain your health. In this series dealing with the eight areas of health we will first focus on Social Health, even while being told to avoid direct contact with others. 

It is human nature to seek contact with other people. This does not change due to the COVID-19 alert. We still want to continue to feel that we are part of a community, that we belong, and we are not completely isolated socially.

In the present situation people are being asked globally to remain isolated in their homes, whether or not they are in quarantine. It is an important safety measure to limit the spread of the COVID-19. It is important that we nevertheless keep our social life active. No, you are not able to visit friends in their homes, go to the cinema, attend club functions and group activities. However, there are other ways to remain socially active.

It is up to you to take responsibility to remain socially active, and there are many ways to do this. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

We are blessed to be living in a time of social media and Internet access which opens possibilities for us not only to communicate with others through text or voice but to also see each other on the screen of our phone or computer.  Who might you call or email in order to check up on them or to just have a conversation? Who have you not spoken with for a long time? Have you been saying to yourself you should call a particular person? Well my friend, this is your opportunity to do it.

  • Make a list of people you would like to speak with and mark two names in your agenda each day for the next weeks. Then contact each of them on the designated day. Not only will you make someone else happy, you will feel better, too.
  • Prepare some uplifting topics to discuss, such as the blessing of being able to speak with each other. Ask questions and share happy memories or present stories.

Everyone has regular access to the Internet which makes old fashioned mail precious. If you are like me, you still have a stash of special note paper that has been gathering dust in a drawer and postcards you’ve gathered during travels. This is an ideal opportunity to use them.

  • Write to friends and family. You can plan a quick walk to the nearest mailbox at a time when there are few people in the street.
  • If you need stamps, in many countries you are able to print your own stamps online. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn to do it.
  • Why not view your photos and include one that is meaningful?

Interestingly an important part of remaining social is to also avoid negative media.

  • When you are communicating with friends and colleagues keep your messages positive and upbeat; avoid complaining and emphasizing what is not good. This is going to make a difference not only for you but also for the others with whom you’re communicating. Let them know if they begin to talk negatively that you want to look at the positives in this present situation.
  • Highlight some of the opportunities and possibilities this crisis brings, such as time to speak with friends you care about, people playing music and singing on the balconies in Italy so neighbors will not feel isolated, or lack of traffic and industrial pollution.

Remember, when you focus on your Social Health, you also enhance your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

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