Getting Through Social Isolation as a Bariatric Patient
Bariatric surgery is already challenging as you learn new eating habits, get used to a changing body, develop new strategies for coping with the world, and, often, find that old relationships become rocky. The coronavirus epidemic makes things even more difficult as it forces changes to daily routines.
A strong support system is critical for bariatric surgery patients, but social isolation due to COVID-19 can make people feel, well, isolated. It can be trickier, but maintaining your social support is possible. Here are some strategies for getting through social isolation as a bariatric patient.
Talking to Friends and Family
Talk about your COVID-19 fears, your weight loss struggles and triumphs, or what the weather is today...just talk! Phone calls and video chats are germ-free ways to keep in touch with the people you love so they can cheer you up and offer advice, and you can do the same for them.
Getting Peer Support
Sometimes the people who understand you the best are the ones who are going through the same things you are. Talking to other bariatric surgery patients, especially ones who may be social distancing like you, can give you a feeling of connection, not to mention give you all kinds of tips and tricks for thriving before and after bariatric surgery, with or without social distancing measures.
Always open are BariatricPal.com and our Facebook groups: BariatricPal Community Group, Bariatric Surgery Support Group, and Gastric Sleeve Support Group. Ask the other members questions about recipes, what to expect pre-op and post-op, and how they are getting their exercise in, or share your own tips with others!
Exercise can boost your mood and fresh air often seems to add to the effect. Walking outside in the neighborhood is perfectly safe as long as you maintain your 6-foot distance from others. If you start to feel lonely, plan to phone a friend during your walking time. The miles will fly by!
Stocking Up on Essentials
When daily life is so uncertain, feelings of helplessness can become strong. One way to combat helplessness is to do something, and that “something” can be to prepare. If you were to need to stay at home for a few weeks, would you have enough protein foods to get by? The BariatricPal Store makes it easy to get shelf-stable, high-protein, low-carb breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
- Low-carb bread, pasta, and wraps.
- Protein bars, shakes, and shots.
- Protein breakfasts and lunch and dinner entrees.
- Low-carb baking mixes.
- Protein cookies, cakes, puddings, and gelatins.
- Protein chips, pretzels, bean snacks, puffs, and more snacks.
With great-tasting choices like these, stocking up can be empowering and exciting, too!
Getting Enough Vitamins
Essential vitamins and minerals are necessary for functions such as bolstering your immune system, keeping you strong, and maintaining energy and metabolism - all necessary for healthy weight loss and for fighting infections. BariatricPal Multivitamin ONE and Calcium ONE are formulated specifically for bariatric surgery patients to prevent deficiencies.
The best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 include protecting your physical and emotional health. That means eating right, staying active, and staying connected with your support system. After all, physical distancing, and not social isolation, is what authorities are recommending!