15 September 2021
Resilience in COVID-19
Watching the daily updates and trying to stay up to date with every piece of news can be tiring for anyone, with the added side effect of feeling your resilience being eroded in a variety of ways.
It wasn’t long ago that the public health actions required in the pandemic, such as staying at home and social distancing, were the very things people would generally seek to limit in retirement. For many, a walk to the shops to get the groceries, a visit to the library, and time out with the grandkids were part of a weekly routine to keep active and social.
With everything turned on its head, it’s important to keep routines where possible. We’re likely to feel the effects of COVID-related restrictions for some time, so looking to bolster your resilience and maintain your quality of life are more important than ever. While life might look different, keeping a daily and weekly routine can help to create a sense of normality and reduce anxiety.
A good place to start is with one of the most basic needs - food and nutrition.
Does your daily routine include where you source, and how you consume your food? If you’re finding it a challenge to stick to fewer grocery shops than usual, for example, a weekly menu planner can make decisions easier, shopping more streamlined and offers the added bonus of a better budget, where you can shop for the right quantities of ingredients.
Another option, especially if you find the supermarket experience stressful due to COVID requirements, could be to try a meal kit service that delivers a pack of recipes and relevant ingredients direct to your door. Supermarkets have also started creating meal kits that you can just pick up off the shelf instead of needing to order separately or take out an online subscription.
These options are great for helping you create a routine, as they are stress-free solutions to a necessary task that has suddenly got much harder through the pandemic. They are also an easy way to keep track of your spending.
With routines, the key really is to keep things simple.
One of the things we must all ensure we acknowledge is that this pandemic has placed a large amount of pressure on all of us in various ways. Being aware of this and making moves to strengthen ourselves to cope is not a sign of weakness.
Daily walks or excursions outside in nature are some of the simplest ways to help you stay fit and strong, both mentally and physically. There’s a reason the government has always permitted a daily constitutional, even in the highest levels of lockdown restrictions, exercise. The Vitamin D from sunlight are a huge lift for mental health and overall wellbeing.
Do you know where you are spending, and where you have the potential to cut costs should it prove necessary?
In line with keeping it simple, try using some of the extra time you may now have to take a look at your finances. It’s a prudent time for a bit of a self-audit, to help you feel in control and financially prepared for any future uncertainties. Look at your incomings and outgoings.
If you’re with Lifetime Retirement Income, you’ll already know your fortnightly income is in the best hands, and will be receiving a regular income. Within your own household though, you can look at what you are paying out. Household expenses, groceries, housing costs, insurances and other bills can add up, so work out if there are any gaps in your planning around this, leaving room for movement.
Another area to consider when thinking about your resilience in your access to, and aptitude with, technology.
While fast-changing technology may not sound like keeping things simple or stress-free, research shows that technology use, including interaction via social media, improves resiliency in a significant percentage of older adults. Being able to access technology, as well as related education around using it, can help retirees maintain social relationships and boost their engagement with the services available to them. It also helps people stay connected with family and loved ones. The goal is to use technology to benefit you and enhance your life, rather than it being a chore.
While everyone is feeling the effects of this pandemic, we all experience things differently. The key is to make time for your own wellbeing, as well as for empathy to others. Building up your own resilience in as many ways as possible - whether that’s physically, mentally, emotionally or financially, is vital as we move forwards in a world that looks just a little bit different.