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While the pandemic was hard on nearly everyone, where we're at now — as vaccination rates rise and COVID-19 infections drop — is starting to feel much more individual. Certainly, some older adults are still dealing with the longer-term effects of the loneliness and isolation that came with stay-at-home orders, says Bruce Rabin, M.D., professor emeritus of preventive medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “It's concerning, because we know loneliness has been linked to memory loss, heart disease, and even increased mortality rates in older adults."
But others may be feeling a lift from resuming all the activities put on hold earlier in the pandemic — book clubs, dining in restaurants, going to workout classes or even to your house of worship. And then there are those in the middle — feeling the glimmers of hope and greater appreciation for family and friends, yet still struggling to face their new normal with energy and equanimity.
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Wherever you're at, there's always room, and reason, to shoot for a little more happiness.
Here are five ways to reengage and find more joy in life: