Caring for our physical and emotional heart are both important! The holidays can take a toll on our heart health in many ways. If you are not able to physically visit loved ones live this year-take the time for a long phone call or Face-time. Many seniors have had an especially tough year with so much isolation.
If you have a loved one in a facility and you are not allowed to visit, drop off a package and then call them while they open it. Or better yet, visit them through their window! (My patients whose families have done that this year have loved it!) Also, if you are family with a health care giver- please care for them a little extra as well.
Here are few suggestions for making this next week of holidaying merry and bright: to make this season heart healthy physically and emotionally:
Care for a heart healthy day:
-Stop and take a deep breath if you get anxious or winded.
-Take a few minutes of quiet from the noise if you get overwhelmed.
-Don’t sit for more than 2 hours- get up intermittently and take a short walk to stretch your legs and improve your circulation.
-Sit on chairs with arm rests, or the side of the couch with an arm rest available.
-Be cautious on steps and stairs- make sure the lighting is good and have assistance.
Care for heart healthy diet:
-Have a plain baked potato or sweet potato, and roasted vegetables with herbs available for the few that may want it (in place of casseroles).
-Put the salad dressing on the side.
-Have fruit infused water or flavored unsweet tea instead of wine or soda.
-Have a fruit tray and veggie tray available as healthy options.
Care for a heart-filling day:
-If you can’t visit in person make sure to face time or call, as our seniors need extra love this year.
-Leave a small (not too heavy) gift basket at the front office or front door, if you cannot physically visit.
-Better yet, visit through the window!
Last minute gift ideas: A gift card for something to do when they are “safe” to get out again might be a hope-filled gift! Also: a scented microwaveable heating pad, a diffuser and essential oils, lotion, non skid socks, roomy pajamas, large print puzzle books, a fun calendar, chap stick, mints or sugar free candies, a back support pillow, and of course a new fun mask.
However we are able to celebrate this year, let us remember that our presence is more important than the presents.
Hope for a happy, blessed holiday!