Author: Alcibiades “Alci” Rives, RN and Director of Nursing
Right now, even if circumstances prevent us from physically being with you, we want you to know that we are still here to support you. We’ve been thinking about anxiety and how maybe others are feeling anxious in these unprecedented times. There are many unknowns and that alone can be stressful.
Our current crisis has put a strain on the American way of life, in ways that we never imagined. It’s important, however, to remember that everyday has a new challenge, and though it seems like much of today’s challenges are not under our control, here are some things we do have control over.
In our experience, managing anxiety starts with recognizing the things that trigger our fears, add stress, and instill a sense of hopelessness.
To best defend against these triggers, here are some tips for family caregivers to suggest or do with a loved one who is feeling really vulnerable. These have personally helped us to cope:
1. First, and foremost- take a deep breath, then let it out. Find a way to disconnect from the chaotic “noise” going on.
2. Turn off the TV, take a look outside. Step out into your garden, go for a walk, or exercise (while practicing proper social distancing).
3. Take this time to discover yourself through creativity, find a new book to read (or finish that old one). Take some time to meditate, or lean into positive prayer.
4. Without disconnecting and clearing our minds, we cannot properly move onto the next steps.
To obtain the best information about COVID-19, it’s best to go directly to the source. Find out what your state’s department of health is recommending, and keep up with local government recommendations.
Visit websites like the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of health, and the World Health Organization for the most up to date information relating to this pandemic.
Home care services have been deemed essential and we are training our caregivers to take all available safety precautions. Here are some details about our response to this pandemic.
How one eats and stays fit can also affect the level of anxiety. Being prepared can help give you a sense of control so plan your meals for the week and incorporate healthier choices such as eating more vegetables and fruits and eliminating sugary snacks. This includes staying away from fruit juices which can have a lot of sugar and instead drinking more water. When you are hydrated, it can help flush out bacteria and maintain a strong immune system. At Homewatch CareGivers, we can provide meal planning services by creating a weekly menu, food journals, and helping with grocery lists.
Remember that vitamins and mineral supplements intended to boost your immunity can possibly interfere with some medicines. Be sure to discuss it with your health care provider if you start taking any new supplements.
The immune system can also benefit from exercise like walking, and staying inside without activity can even lower immunity. Create a schedule to get outside and go for a 30-minute walk three times a week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for hand washing and wearing face masks. Also wipe down things like your phone to keep germs away.
Being prepared means making informed decisions that will optimize wellness, enhance nutrition, and boost immune health by keeping the body healthy and happy. Much like the emergency training in airplanes, we must first secure ourselves before we can properly take care of others.
We at Homewatch CareGivers want to remind you all that even through this crisis home care is essential. Our staff is well trained in infection control and expertly monitored to bring you peace of mind when it comes to caring for your loved ones.