Stress can be a challenge for anyone. For aging loved ones, the stress that is felt can be compounded by the difficulty of managing their day-to-day issues.
While a senior’s level and type of stress vary from person to person, our body responds to all stresses in the same way. Our body reacts to stress by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into our system. Stress hormones help give us the energy and boost we need to respond to urgent circumstances quickly. The problem with this reaction is that it also suppresses our immune system, making us more vulnerable to illness when under constant stress. Knowing how to reduce stress for seniors is one of the most important things you can do for their overall health and wellbeing.
This article aims to provide proven strategies that can help reduce stress and make your life better in general.
Exercise is a natural stress reliever and mood booster, plus it can also help you sleep better and give you more energy. Of course, physical activity isn’t always easy for aging loved ones with mobility issues, but it’s essential to find activities that fit your abilities. Try walking or moving around as often as possible—don’t stay seated for too long if possible. You can also try swimming or water aerobics classes—which are often less physically demanding than land-based exercise classes—or yoga, which focuses on flexibility and balance rather than muscle strength. Exercise doesn’t have to be all about sweating at a gym; finding something enjoyable that works for you will reduce stress over time.
Eat A Healthy Diet
The best-proven strategy to reduce stress for aging adults is to incorporate healthy foods into any diet. A well-balanced, healthy diet will help you feel full faster and longer. Also, it will keep your blood sugar stable, so you are less likely to suffer from low energy or cravings during stressful times. Drink Plenty of Water: eight glasses a day may be a rough goal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to drink plenty of water daily. Studies have shown drinking half your body weight in ounces daily can help reduce stress, lose weight, and have other health benefits like improved digestion and preventing headaches.
Get Enough Rest
It may seem counterintuitive, but getting enough sleep is one of the best strategies to reduce stress. Sleep allows the body and mind to recover from stressful events and prepares you for other challenges. While studies vary, most experts agree that most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night for optimal health.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption
Caffeine is a stimulant that causes stress for many people. Because it increases heart rate and blood pressure, many aging adults report feeling anxious or agitated after consuming caffeine.
Have “Me Time”
It’s very important for everyone to take some time for themselves and spend it doing something they really enjoy. Often, when we feel stressed or have too much going on in our lives, we put things off that bring us joy because there is just not enough time to do them. Unfortunately, if you are constantly busy doing things you don’t enjoy or putting off activities, then you will be more stressed out than if you did these things regularly. The best way to reduce stress quickly is to start scheduling me-time into your week, even if it’s only once a week at first.
Talk About Your Feelings
Having a trusted relationship with someone is an important part of managing stress. Talking about your feelings with someone who cares will help you feel less isolated and more connected to your community.