Ways to Reduce Stress for Seniors

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

~ Lou Holtz

Increased stress can affect all aspects of a person’s life causing numerous health issues, even long-term.  All ages are affected by stress and change in one’s body or perception can increasingly manipulate the outcome of how it may change you.

The importance of communication when there is something happening or changing in your life is critical. A body change may indicate a further issue that would need to be discussed with your physician.  Communicate and share, even if you feel embarrassed, as a deeper issue could develop if not handled properly at the beginning of the first sign of stress or stress related illness.

Ways you can reduce stress

Deep breathing exercises can make a difference.  If you schedule a couple minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening of deep breathing, this will relax your body, help oxygenate the blood and revitalize your brain.  Here are a few other examples you can try for relaxation.

  • Relaxing music such as: nature sounds, ocean waves, positive attitude music
  • Warm pack on your neck or head
  • Cool pack on your neck or head
  • Warm bath or shower
  • Walk early morning or later in the evening
  • Hot tea and your favorite book
  • Schedule frequent mini vacations
  • Schedule time with your family or friend
  • Go to the movies
  • Close your eyes and breath
  • Swimming or soak in a sauna
  • Get back to nature – camping, camp fire, toast marshmallows, sing songs, hiking, kayaking, smell wild flowers, take your shoes off and walk on the cool grass
  • Light a candle
  • Laugh as much as possible. Laughter is good for the heart and sole
  • Monitor and improve sleep pattern

Exercise/Activity

If you can, you should bake, listen to relaxing music, move your body and enjoy your time in the kitchen.  If you do not like to bake, other activities such as these may be beneficial.

  • Music therapy and movement/dancing
  • Chair yoga
  • Walking/biking
  • Swimming
  • Join senior club that offers numerous activities such as: arts and crafts, jewelry making, bus trips, theater
  • Kayaking or paddle boating
  • Walk around the neighborhood with your friends
  • Volunteer at the shelter for some furry loving
  • The library offers a variety of activities for all ages
  • Cooking or baking class
  • Enjoy your favorite food or beverage with friends
  • You are never to old for dress up! There are 50/60s parties at a variety of places in your community

The effects of stress on your body

The effects of stress on your body can have long term even permanent effects overall.  It is important to recognize stress triggers and write them down to share with your physician.  Communicate with family/friend what is going on, so you always have a support network to help you if you need it. Here are a few examples of what stress can do to your body.

  • Increase in blood pressure – increased blood pressure can also have negative side effects such as stroke. Monitoring your blood pressure could save your life
  • Headaches are common with stress
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Heart attack
  • Stomach aches or other Gastrointestinal disturbances

 

Staying healthy by reducing stress starts with you. Take advantage of Senior programs that are offered in your community or design your own program that fits your lifestyle.  Whatever you decide, remember that you are the most important person to take care of!  VIP helps families every day, especially our caregivers in working together to find that perfect flow so you can continue to thrive and live the best life possible.