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We often think of natural disasters when we contemplate a crisis. We think of hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, fires. We usually don’t think of the dangers of serious illness and the need to just stay home. What used to seem like a luxury, being home with our families, begins to take on an ominous tone—how in the world are we going to cope being cooped up like this?

And for many seniors, this will mean living alone—all the time. How to manage? Here are fifteen tips for staying positive, happy and healthy during this quarantine crisis.

  1. Stay in touch with friends and family. Make phone calls. It’s good to hear others’ voices. Try face time or video chats. This may push we seniors to use technology we’re not comfortable using, but the rewards of seeing the faces of loved ones will brighten any day. If you’re on Facebook, try Facebook Messenger.
  2. Learn something new. This is the perfect time to use one of the simple online language courses such as Duolingo or Babble. Or determine to master algebra with the Kahn Academy.
  3. Listen to music you enjoy. In the hurry of our normal lives we often miss out on the opportunity to tune out everything else and immerse ourselves in the beauty of the music we love.
  4. Write something. This is a great time to journal or blog. Write an old-fashioned letter to someone. Write about experiences that define your life. Remember, the younger generation won’t know about these experiences unless you document them.
  5. Find a way to give. Go to com to work on your vocabulary and feed the poor at the same time. Donate to a good cause. Call others who are lonely or write a message to encourage someone who is ill or depressed.
  6. It may take some creativity, but stay active in some way. Dance to a song on the radio, find an online or television exercise show and move along with it. Walk a certain number of steps each day. Keep moving.
  7. Do something artistic. You may enjoy those beautiful coloring books. Many are free online right now for those of us needing something to do. Use water paints to create or take up origami.
  8. Play online games. There are thousands of these and they’re free. They use up great quantities of time and are fun.
  9. Clean and de-clutter. What better time than now to deep clean areas of your home that have been neglected? And weed out those things you no longer want or need and place them somewhere to be given away or trashed when the quarantine is over.
  10. Most of us have some crafting projects we enjoy doing. You may start a new knitting or crochet project, finish that scrapbook or decoupage.
  11. We all enjoy eating and when we have extra time on our hands, why not bake or cook those things we enjoy most? Or, if you have the items on hand, try something new. A new soup, a fancy pastry?
  12. Never finished War and Peace? Just kidding, but reading is usually a luxury. Now that you have time, feel free to read all you want. Don’t forget you can buy those e-books if you run out of the real thing.
  13. If you’re not alone, play board games and have tournaments. Card games are also fun and can fill many enjoyable hours.
  14. Create your own some music. You may not be accomplished on the guitar or the piano, but with a bit of practice you may find you can entertain yourself nicely.
  15. Watch old films or television series. Find something you enjoy and the hours will melt away.

In times of trouble it’s important to keep a positive attitude and stay engaged. Be proactive in taking good care of yourself, your family members and your friends. Even if you need to do the caring at a distance, make the most of this remarkable time by living life fully and giving to others in this time of need.