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Stress Management Techniques for Seniors

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Stress is a part of life at any age. As you get older, however, how your body copes with stress physically and emotionally begins to change. In stressful situations, your brain reacts by releasing potentially harmful hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Too much of these hormones released at once has been linked to conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease, a weakened immune system, and even short-term memory problems.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to manage the stress in your life:

Get a good night’s sleep. Seniors need between 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night. Establish a relaxing routine at bedtime. Take a warm bath, turn off electronic devices, avoid stimulants, limit evening food and drinks, dim the lights, and listen to soothing music.

Manage your finances. Worrying about money causes a significant amount of stress. Assess your finances, create a budget, and have a plan. Ask for help if needed.

Know that it’s okay to say “no.” Overbooking yourself and feeling like you have no downtime can add stress to your life. Remember to set aside a few hours every week where you can focus on yourself.

Strengthen your relationships. Are there family members you haven’t been getting along with? Friends you haven’t seen in several months? Reach out to those you care about most and resolve any misunderstandings. A healing conversation with your loved ones helps reduce anxiety and, in turn, the amount of stress you may be feeling over the situation.

Meditate. To meditate, you need a quiet space with no distractions. Practice deep breathing exercises until you feel a calmness settle over you. Meditation allows time to clear your mind of those stressful thoughts that may be bothering you.

Laugh often. Watch your favorite funny movie or TV show, exchange jokes with your friends or grandkids, and laugh the stress of the day away.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is a known mood booster, and studies show that even light exercise can reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels. Schedule a daily walk, swim, or sign up for a fitness class.

Stay hydrated. Water is essential for life, and not drinking enough fluids can cause health problems. Doctors recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day. To help stay hydrated, sip on water throughout the day, have a full glass of water when you take a pill, enjoy an afternoon cup of soup or broth, and take a tea break with a friend.

Eat mindfully. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet consisting of fresh foods like lean meats, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to help your body and mind stay strong and combat stress.

To further reduce your stress levels, turn to Springpoint Choice. Membership includes individualized long-term care planning, access to aquatic and fitness facilities at our Life Plan Communities, and so much more. Contact our team today to learn the details.