Easy Ways for Seniors to Reduce StressApril 3, 2023
No matter how we try to avoid it, stress is an inevitable sensation everyone experiences. While it is never pleasant, the real problem arises when one frequently experiences stress, or stress occurs over long periods of time. This is when health concerns arise as a result.
In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we’ve outlined a few easy ways for seniors to reduce stress. Being easily incorporated into your day-to-day life, practicing these options will hopefully make a difference in your overall well-being.
How does the body respond to stress?
Stress is more than an annoying feeling in your chest—it can actually impact your physical health. In response to stress, you may experience an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, rapid breath, lack of sleep, and immune system slowdown. As a result, chronic stress can lead to serious health concerns. These may include heart disease, asthma, depression, and gastrointestinal problems.
When experiencing regular stress, it is important that you make an effort to mitigate it not only for the sake of your mental health, but your physical health.
Though it seems like a simple fix, breathing exercises can make a major difference in reducing your body’s reaction to stressors. Deep breaths activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming your body. Long, slow breaths do wonders for your overall mental health.
There are a few different breathing exercises you can try to reduce stress. The easiest one to remember is the box breath. For this practice, you inhale, hold your breath, exhale, and hold again for all for four seconds. You then repeat the cycle for as long as you’d like.
Spend time in the great outdoors
As we discussed in a blog post about getting outside in the winter, fresh air and sunlight both have major impacts on your overall health. This is the same for any time of year. Going for a walk at your local park can lower your cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Even sitting on a back patio has an impact on your overall mood.
Talk to your loved ones
Social isolation only exacerbates problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, get in contact with your loved ones. Whether it’s over a cup of coffee or a phone call, discussing your grievances is a great way to reduce your stress. Even if you don’t feel like discussing your problems, just speaking to a loved one is fantastic for your mental health.
Relieve some stressors with an at-home caregiver
For many older adults aging in place, much of their stress comes from the activities of daily living. Cleaning is exhausting, cooking is daunting, and personal care can be a challenge. Whatever you struggle with, an at-home caregiver can help. These compassionate individuals can take over whatever tasks have grown to be difficult, allowing you the freedom to do whatever is most important to you.
If you think you might benefit from the help of a caregiver, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to discuss our programs with you
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