As convenient as it is to have so much of our lives online, it is also lonely. Everyone struggles to keep themselves well in a digital world, both physically and mentally. Learning to navigate physical healthcare on digital platforms is a challenge, but navigating your mental health and mental state can be even tougher when you’re separated from family, friends, and your usual activity routine.
Luckily, there are digital solutions to this digital problem. There are so many ways to reconnect with others, keep yourself active, and take care of your mental health—all online! Here are some ways for you to take control of your mental health and stay connected and healthy in our online world.
Online Chats with Friends and Family
It’s been made clear in 2020 that it isn’t always possible to be with friends and family in person. This can take a toll on anyone’s mental health, especially if you are a more extroverted person. There are several different ways to bridge the physical gap between you and your loved ones using digital platforms.
If you have a laptop, Zoom calls are a great way to talk with as many of your family members and friends as you’d like. Zoom is a video platform, like Skype or Microsoft Teams, that allows you to create a group call with multiple people or just place a call one-on-one. Unlike a telephone call, Zoom lets you see the people on the other end. This makes the interactions as normal as possible without being physically in person. Talking to your friends and family “face to face” can help you stay in a positive mindset even when you can’t be together.
To use Zoom, just download it to your computer at no cost. Once you create an account, you can use it to create meetings, join meetings, or even message in a group chat.
Group chats, either through your phone or a third-party platform like Zoom, are great for staying connected on the daily and giving you an emotional boost. It doesn’t require all parties to sit down and talk consistently, like with a Zoom call, so creating a group chat can go right with video chats to help you talk with the people you love on multiple fronts. Message during the day and set up a Zoom call when everyone is free for an hour or two.
If you’re struggling with sadness or loneliness, social media sites like Facebook may not be the best place to go. Scrolling through pictures and posts can make you feel like you’re missing out even more. However, for some people, it can help with feeling more connected in the lives of loved ones. If you feel like social media will help you feel less alone, try logging on and interacting with your friends and family digitally.
If you are looking to get out and meet new people but aren’t able to get out physically, online dating sites can also be a great way to meet new friends or a potential love interest! It’s important to connect with others, whether they’re people you already know or new acquaintances.
Stay Active with Exercise
According to the USA National Institute of Health, exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It can help boost self-esteem and even cognitive function. You may not be able to go to your local track or gym, but there are still ways to stay active and help your mental and emotional health.
Workout tapes or videos are a great way to stay active and keep your mind alert. If you don’t have any tapes on hand, YouTube has a wide selection of videos at no cost; find one that fits your level and give it a go!
Yoga Classes Online
If you’re looking for peace, yoga is a great activity to calm you while still incorporating physical activity. You can find yoga courses online for all skill levels: this site is dedicated to creating yoga routines specifically for those who are older. Yoga has incredible physical health benefits too, but it is also specifically able to help improve sleep quality and manage depression, both of which are mental health issues.
Talk to Professionals
Virtual Therapy Appointments
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your mental health but aren’t able to leave your house, talk to your therapist and ask if they are willing to do a Zoom or Skype therapy session. Most doctors and therapists now offer something like this or are willing to make it work!
Your doctor’s office will be able to give you the specific details, but all you’ll need is the proper program downloaded to your computer, a working microphone, and a working camera on your device. It’s different from an in-person visit, but also much safer, and your therapist is still there for you—even online.
Mental Health Apps for Seniors
Headspace is a great meditation app for people of all ages. Meditation can calm you and clear your head, which helps you focus and stay in a healthier mindset. Headspace offers dozens of guided meditation sessions that can be fit in throughout the day during your normal routine.
Sanvello offers digital therapy for stress, anxiety, depression, and a number of other mental health conditions. If you need to talk to someone, but your doctor isn’t available, Sanvello can offer temporary help. With this app, you can also track your mood daily, which helps you monitor your own emotions and headspace.
Taking care of your mental health can be a challenge, especially in the digital age. However, learning to use new technologies to your advantage can help you thrive in today’s online world!