10 SIMPLE STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR SENIORS
Stress and overwhelm is becoming a chronic problem in today’s society, especially for senior citizens. Many people find themselves worried about everything from financial concerns, to health problems, to family issues.
Regardless of the specific details of your stresses and worries, there are many things you can do to help reduce the anxiety and worry you feel in your day-to-day life. Below are some tips to help you handle stress and anxiety. Even if you don’t struggle with feelings of overwhelm, these tips can help you set yourself up for success and prevent any problems with stress in the future.
Follow these strategies to help get your stress level back on track:
1. WRITE IT DOWN
The best thing you can do when you experience stress or anxiety is to write down what’s bothering you. Seeing it on paper helps you realize exactly what is on your mind. It can stop the cycle of constant worry and rumination and can help you regain a sense of control. Researchers also suggest keeping a journal to help sort out your thoughts and compiling a daily gratitude list to change your perspective.
2. TALK WITH LOVED ONES
Connecting with friends and family is a great way to combat stress. Being around the people we love can lift our spirits and help diminish our troubles. Talking with people who know and accept us for who we are can often put our minds at ease.
3. MAKE AN ACTION PLAN
Once you write down your worries and discuss them with your loved ones, it’s time to start making an action plan. Many people find comfort in taking steps to address the stressors in their life. Developing an action plan will help you feel more responsible and prepared to take on your challenges.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce stress. This doesn’t mean you have to participate in strenuous workouts every day. Simply going for a walk or taking a swim can go a long way in improving your mental state. Yoga is also a good activity to reduce stress and increase mindfulness. Make it your goal to incorporate some form of exercise or movement into your daily routine. You’ll be shocked at how much better you feel!
5. ENJOY YOUR HOBBIES
It’s important to engage with your hobbies and favorite pastimes as much as possible. You likely have plenty of other obligations, but make it a priority to take time for yourself. Engaging in fun activities is a great way to reduce stress and help prevent it from becoming a problem in the future. Whether you enjoy gardening, reading, or cooking, participate in your hobbies as often as possible.
6. ENGAGE IN A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Regardless of your beliefs, having a spiritual practice can help reduce stress in your life. When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, turn to your spiritual practice to provide you with comfort. Pray, read an inspirational text, go for a walk out in nature, or meditate. Explore a faith tradition or spiritual practice that appeals to you and apply its principles when you feel stressed.
7. PLAY WITH A PET
Having a pet is good for your mental health. Pets provide companionship and give you a daily dose of love and affection. Taking care of a pet gives you a sense of responsibility and can help you find more purpose in your day-to-day routine. If you’re not interested in having a pet of your own, consider volunteering at an animal shelter or engaging in pet therapy services. You’d be amazed by how much joy and relief a furry friend can bring into your life.
8. SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINE
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider switching up your routine. Simply changing your environment or daily structure can create a sense of spontaneity and adventure in your life. You’re forced to look at the world differently, and you might even be able to gain a different perspective.
9. EAT HEALTHY, STRESS-FIGHTING FOODS
Diet also plays a large role in our ability to manage and prevent stress. Eat plenty of healthy foods like green vegetables, protein, and oatmeal. What you eat has a large impact on everything from your stress levels to your physical health to your mental cognition. Make sure you are fueling yourself with the best food possible. Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider making a cup of hot tea as a way to relax and unwind.
10. GO OUTSIDE
There have been lots of new studies touting the health benefits of getting outside and enjoying nature. Simply going outdoors can help reduce stress and cognitive fatigue. Sit outside on a patio, take a walk in your neighborhood, or head to a local trail or park. Chances are, getting outdoors will help you feel calmer and ready to tackle your day.
It’s normal to feel stressed from time to time, especially as you navigate the new challenges of senior living. But by following the above tips, you’ll be able to combat stress and anxiety and cultivate more positive feelings and experiences.