Getting through the COVID-19 crisis

Remember: we're all in this together.

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Below are some tips to help you deal with social isolation and stay in touch with friends and family.

How you can check in on friends without leaving the house

Make a contact list of people to call and check in daily or every few days. Start with those in your close circle and then move outwards.

You can go through your old letters, address books, alumni contacts, email addresses and memorabilia to reconnect with “long-lost” friends, classmates or co-workers.

We often find support by offering others support. It’s in giving that we receive.

Provide empathy, understanding and comfort. Exchange knowledge about local resources for medical services, supermarket supplies and news updates.

Connecting with friends and family using technology

Many older adults use videoconferencing tools such as Skype, FaceTime and Zoom.

These allow for video conversations — and in these times, we need to have good conversations and “think out loud” as we cope with coronavirus issues.

If you are not confident using the technology, a family member or friend may be able to assist you. But the most important tool is the phone.

Other suggestions include reaching out the old-fashioned way via greeting cards and letters or sending text messages and emails with your photos attached.

Tips for overcoming anxiety

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers the following tips:

  • limit news consumption
  • practice calming techniques
  • move your body
  • connect with loved ones
  • listen to music
  • get stuff done
  • find ways to laugh.

Volunteering from home

People generally feel better when they have a purpose.

Volunteering to help others can ease anxiety and helplessness – and there are even programs you can participate in from home.

To learn more, visit the Volunteering Australia website.

There are plenty of other things you can do to keep busy as well.

Keep busy, stay happy

Make gifts for people. Learn another language or a musical instrument.

Write, paint, knit, read or find another hobby that interests you.

Share podcasts, emails and links with family and friends. Listen to music and play all kinds of soothing and cheerful sounds to boost your mood. 

How you can avoid feelings of isolation while stuck at home

In these tough times, it’s perfectly natural to feel afraid or lonely.

Find a person you can share your worries and feelings with over the phone. It may be a friend, loved one or professional.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Carers are also welcome to call Carers Australia on 1800 242 636.

Remember to talk to your GP about your mental health.

If you previously received help from a psychologist, therapist or faith-based professional, you might like to reach out to them as well.

Thanks to for providing some of the information featured in this article.

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