Helping Seniors Manage Stress
A little bit of stress can keep you energized and motivated, but too much can take a toll on your body. As you get older, it can put a strain on your heart, raise your blood pressure, increase tension in your muscles, and wear you down mentally. In short, stress can keep you from enjoying your life to its fullest.
Recognizing when you are feeling stressed can help you to be proactive in managing symptoms and taking steps to calm your body and mind. You don’t have to live in a constant state of turmoil. Try different strategies to figure out what works best for you. You may find that different activities help in different situations.
Simply getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper can have a positive effect on your mental health. Don’t worry about what you’re writing and if it makes sense. No one else needs to read it. Just write whatever is on your mind. Or, if you are someone who prefers more structure, get a journal that offers prompts or questions to help you organize your thoughts. Sometimes it’s easier to process things once you can go back and read them.
The great thing about meditating is that you don’t need any equipment, and you can do it anywhere. If you are new to meditating, try a guided app to learn the process. Once you’re comfortable with how it’s done, you can do it on your own and adjust it to your own needs. Even sitting quietly for a few minutes and taking the time to notice the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you can help you to feel more grounded and relaxed. It allows you to refocus your energy.
- Deep Breathing
A few deep breaths can reduce tension throughout your body and slow your heart rate. Make sure you can really feel your chest and lungs expanding. Square breathing is a common practice where you inhale through your nose for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale through your mouth for four counts, hold for four counts, and repeat the pattern again.
- Socializing with Positive People
Spend time with people who make you laugh and feel good about yourself. Those people who can turn a frown upside, help you see the silver lining, and make even mundane activities exciting. Their good mood and ability to take life in stride can help you to do the same. Surrounding yourself with positive people can redirect your attention and reduce your stress.
- Listening to Music
Another effective way of relaxing is turning on some music. What you listen to can depend on what you find calming. Maybe you prefer instrumental music without the distraction of lyrics, or maybe you like to sing and dance to something upbeat. Are there certain songs that evoke happy memories and feelings? Make different playlists based on how you’re feeling.
- Doing Something You Enjoy
Take a break from whatever is stressing you out and participate in an activity that you find relaxing. Maybe that’s reading, going for a walk, watching a funny movie, chatting with a friend, or making something with your hands. Oftentimes people spend so much time worrying about and doing things for others that they forget to do something for themselves.
There are many positive methods of reducing stress and enhancing your quality of life. If you struggle with memory, mobility, or simply could benefit from extra help, learn more about the advantages of working with an in-home caregiver. You can receive care tailored to your unique needs and abilities and take some of the stress out of your day. Contact Always Best Care of Norfolk at 757.655.8008 to schedule a care consultation and explore your options.