Living with an unhealthy amount of chronic stress can negatively impact your health regardless of age. Stress is commonly observed in seniors due to multiple issues like health problems, lack of independence, lack of social interaction, or even just plain boredom in everyday life. In today’s landscape with the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues have become more prominent than ever. Some seniors have spent months communicating with their loved ones only via video chat, and this can prove to be taxing to their emotional health.
Having chronic stress raises the level of cortisol, a hormone that is associated with increased blood sugar and blood pressure. Studies have also shown that unhealthy amounts of stress are linked to cardiac disease, memory problems, digestive problems, weight gain, and others alike. As such, seniors need to find ways to relax and reduce stress. One of the best approaches that seniors can adopt to beat stress is active relaxation. Read on to find out more about active relaxation and how it can be implemented in daily activities.
What is Active Relaxation?
Simply put, active relaxation is a form of relaxation that requires activity and movement. Unlike passive relaxation which involves activities like meditating or reading, active relaxation involves active movement while bringing you a sense of peace at the same time.
A popular method of active relaxation is progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is easy to practice and is hence suitable for seniors. Begin by simply taking deep breaths, followed by actively adding tension to one part of the body, then eventually releasing the tension. Each time you put tension on your muscle, hold it for a count of ten before allowing the muscle to relax. Most people practice active relaxation by beginning with the foot muscles, before slowly working their way up to other muscles of the body.
Other Forms of Active Relaxation
A non-exhaustive list of ways you can practice active relaxation include:
- Nature walking
- Chair yoga
- Relaxed swimming
- Riding a bike
- Dancing to songs
- Writing a biography
- Arranging a bouquet
- Bird watching
- Baking cookies
As you might have observed, active relaxation comes in many forms and can be easily practiced.
Signs of Unhealthy Levels of Stress
If you are worried that you or your loved one might be going through too much stress, look out for these symptoms to help you decide if you should seek professional help.
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
- Lethargic and tired during the day
- Increased levels of anxiety and frustration
- Poor concentration
Consider Senior Living Communities
One of the biggest advantages of living in senior communities is that it eliminates most problems that other seniors residing in their own homes face such as loneliness and difficulty in completing house chores, which eventually leads to even more health-related problems like dementia and back pain. Here at Discovery Village At Twin Creeks, every resident has the freedom to live independently while not having to worry about household chores or other similarly mundane tasks. Contact us today to find out more.