Creative Ways Seniors Can Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy During COVID-19

Woman paining at an easel

None of us are strangers to how COVID-19 is taking a toll on physical and mental health. From remaining in our homes to finding new ways to connect with those we love, it’s important to find new ways to adapt. While this can seem difficult, there are still a number of creative ways that you can maintain and even improve your physical and mental health during this time. 

According to Pamela Klapproth, ED/CEO of Kendal on Hudson, the only true Life Plan Community in Westchester County, COVID-19 has required us to rethink the ways we approach wellness and communication. “We are no longer able to get together with friends and family, enjoy the exercise classes we love in-person or even explore the surrounding areas as we once have,” she states. “Unfortunately, this means that seniors can begin to feel isolated, depressed and even let go of some aspects of their health and wellness. By taking into account that things would need to be adapted, we have been able to get creative to ensure residents can still enjoy the things they love, remain connected and even improve their health during this time.”

Staying Physically and Mentally Active

Whether you are currently at your home with a loved one, hunkering down in your community or are living alone, we’ve compiled some creative ways that you can stay physically and mentally healthy, both now during COVID-19 and even afterwards. 

  • Make everyday activities exercise. Do you need to clean your space? Sort out an old closet? Do the laundry or even water your garden plants? Because these are everyday activities, people may not find them to be exercise, however, they most certainly are. Dance while folding clothes, use your vacuum handle as a microphone stand, use cans as weights when organizing your pantry! There are so many ways to get the most movement out of your everyday chores, you just need to get creative.
  • Try to sit less during the day. We all love to binge-watch our favorite television shows, zone out when watching the news or even get lost in our favorite books. While this is ok to do some of the time, it can absolutely be detrimental to our health if we do this in the long-term. This doesn’t mean you need to do an elaborate exercise routine, though. During a commercial break, get up and march in place until your show comes back on. Stretch after reaching every new chapter. Consider walking around the room as you watch your favorite television show. This ensures you get exercise while still enjoying some of the things you love to do.
  • Check out virtual workouts. Since going to the gym isn’t something we are able to do, bring the gym to you! Simply log into YouTube and view some workouts Kendal on Hudson has posted, check out free fitness apps and see if your gym offers virtual workouts! This can give you the opportunity to try something new in the comfort of your own home, enjoy the workouts you know and love or even allow you to explore an array of options.
  • Try meditation apps. From Headspace to Calm, meditation and mindfulness apps can help to center you, improve your mental health, and keep you relaxed. In times like this, it can be hard not to panic, stay calm and not be worried about both yourself and your loved ones. Apps like this can help you to enhance your mental health and provide assistance in coping with your emotions.
  • Stay connected to friends and family. Being away from friends and family can cause seniors to become depressed or feel more isolated. Try to stay connected with them to keep yourself mentally active. Whether this means playing games like charades or Yahtzee over video chat, downloading puzzle games to play with friends or simply having a conversation, it can do wonders in keeping you mentally active.

Together, Transforming the Experience of Aging.®

Founded on Quaker principles and guided by our values and practices, Kendal® on Hudson provides a vibrant, active and social senior lifestyle on our 25-acre campus next to the historic Hudson River. As the only Lifecare community in Westchester County, we offer four levels of service for our residents: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Services.

Kendal on Hudson is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors. Kendal on Hudson is an affiliate of The Kendal Corporation, a system of communities and services for older people based in Kennett Square, PA. We support diversity, inclusiveness, and independence and support the values and practices of Kendal by remaining focused on healthy aging. Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, just 35 miles from New York City, we offer a vibrant lifestyle, cultural programs, continued learning and health care for life.

 For more information, please call 914-922-1011.