Regaining Some Control in a Restrictive World

Depending on where you live, many people may now be reaching week one or longer of social isolation to protect themselves and others and help stem the spread of the Coronavirus.   Some are working from home, others have been laid off and retirees are likely curtailing all their regular activities, especially ones that include gathering in groups larger than ten.  

But rather than give in to anxiety or panic, by changing your perspective, it’s possible to find the positive in a sea of restrictions and cancellations.  It’s an ideal time, for example, to do some deep Spring cleaning, purge closets and put your affairs in order, reducing the stress and anxiety for loved ones should you become ill. 

Having financial documents, end of life wishes, online account information and legal documents organized and providing access to this information to one or two trusted family members can help not only give older adults a sense of control but can also lift some of the burden on those who are responsible for making arrangements. 

It doesn’t hurt to write down cherished memories, interests or accomplishments that families would want to include when writing an obituary or delivering a eulogy.   Some people have pre-planned for their funeral; be sure loved-ones know where to find this information.  For those who are very organized and like to have a measure of control, music, flowers and photographs may also be selected in advance. 

We are quickly learning what we can control and what is beyond our influence.  By focusing on what you can continue to do rather than what is being restricted, individuals and families can thrive through these challenging times.   Go outdoors, do your taxes, tackle those home projects, try a new recipe and stay connected virtually with friends and family.  Try to stay positive and turn this outbreak into an opportunity for personal growth.  We’re all in this together, let’s take care of one another. 

Learn more about managing anxiety and stress by following this link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.