We all get stressed sometimes, even seniors. Stress doesn’t go away once the kids are out of the house and one moves into a retirement home. There are unfortunately still many types of stress a senior can experience, plus living in this fast-paced world can sometimes be a stress trigger on its own. While the obvious answer is to avoid anything stressful, we know this is a lot easier said than done. So the best way to handle your stress is to use one or more of the following to help to manage it.
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress — and it really doesn’t take much! By all means, head to the gym and work up a sweat if that helps, but a simple walk (especially in nature!) or hitting the pool for a few laps or water aerobics a few times a week is all you need to feel a whole lot better. Check with your retirement community to see which activities they offer.
You’ll have to find a relaxation method which works for you to keep your stress at bay. Some people find deep breathing a few times a day or when they’re feeling particularly stressed works well and is easy to do. Others find a daily meditation or yoga practice helps them handle stress better. Go online, find a few books or videos, or consult the activity manager in your retirement community for more information on these methods and find the method that works best for you.
Staying social on a regular basis can help to ward off memory loss and other issues which can occur as one ages. It also has the added bonus of keeping stress levels down. It’s always handy to have that one friend or group of friends you can contact in a pinch to offer you an ear or just to chat about something else.
You can also find distraction in other methods: re-read a favourite short story that always makes you smile, put on your favourite TV sitcom, turn on some upbeat music that puts you in a good mood, or get out a puzzle book to keep your mind on something else for a while.
Try to See a Different Perspective
This one can be hard, but if you try to “see the glass as half full,” your stress levels will most likely greatly reduce. You may be stressed about plans changing at the last minute, but you could change your perspective to see it as a chance to catch up on your reading or to run a few errands.
You may also have some long-held beliefs about what’s “right” and “wrong.” While you should never give up your true beliefs or authentic feelings, it may be time to hear the other side of the story or, at least, use the “agree to disagree” philosophy with some of your friends if certain topics lead to stressful feelings.
Talk to Someone
If your stress has become unmanageable or if you are feeling anxious or depressed, please talk to your doctor or another professional for an evaluation.
If you’re considering a move to a retirement community, consider Trillium Communities. We’re proud of the fact that in addition to fulfilling your nutritional, entertainment and housekeeping needs, we offer strong social support and stress management techniques to our residents. Please contact us if you have any questions about our services or boutique living in our retirement community.