Stoney Brook Stress Management Series
PART THREE: Easy Stress-Relieving Activities That Seniors Can Do
Looking for stress management strategies for seniors you know, or for yourself? Earlier in Stoney Brook’s Stress Management Series, we tackled why and how stress endangers older adults, as well as the warning signs and symptoms of senior stress and ways to reduce it. Both installments are thoroughly informative, so check them out, if you haven’t already.
In this installment, we’ll cover the best activities for reducing stress in seniors that we suggest to our own residents and to anyone else interested in improving their complete wellness.
Practice Soothing Self-Care
Be intentional about caring for your own mind, body and soul. There are the obvious actions: eating in a healthy manner, ensuring frequent physical exercise and implementing restorative sleeping routines. Doing these things can give you a sense of accomplishment and help to refresh your mood.
At Stoney Brook, we provide numerous programs that enable residents to practice good, all-around self-care habits, including our relaxation techniques geared toward older adults. To support yourself or your aging loved one in minimizing stress, we recommend:
Cognitive Exercises – Some of the best opportunities to introduce mental exercise into everyday life are crafts, hobbies, card and trivia games, puzzles, Sudoku, mind-engaging video, computer and mobile games/apps and skill-expanding classes (cooking, gardening, art, etc.). In addition to having great fun, seniors can optimize mental health. Scientists believe that stimulating activities may protect the brain by establishing a “cognitive reserve,” equipping it to become more adaptable, like how it regulates stress hormones and counteracts the effects of ongoing stress.
Relaxation Techniques – Physical movement is actually an ideal way to relax, as it releases stress hormones from your body. Increasingly popular activities for reducing stress in seniors are yoga and tai chi. They span many ability and mobility levels, and one option can be “chair yoga” or “seated tai chi.” Expect less stress, plus more mindfulness and improved physical conditions (examples: chronic pain relief, greater balance, stability and flexibility, better sleep, decreased blood pressure and enhanced respiration function).
Connecting with Nature – Research continues to prove that spending time outdoors reaps an abundance of vital benefits to one’s total well-being. Whether it’s walking the dog, exploring the neighborhood or a park, picnicking with friends or family or really getting hands-on with some gardening, you’ll lift your mood and refresh your spirit. Even basking in fresh air and sunshine on a patio can be rewarding!
Social Engagement – That’s the secret to seniors’ happier, healthier and longer lives. Studies show that frequent social interactions and meaningful relationships make a profound, positive impact on mental and physical conditions. Therefore, be sure to strengthen those hardwired human connections through daily, face-to-face conversations and opportunities for laughter, in order to gain the greatest value of all.
Read Stories That Inspire You
Take some time out each day to delve into heartening tales. The plot possibilities are endless and encompass acts of courage, seemingly impossible trials that were overcome, life-changing words of wisdom and sheerly fun, amusing reads. Whether in a comforting favorite, a piece of classic literature, a hot-off-the-press book or a passage from the Bible or another religious or spiritual text, you’ll appreciate insights you can embrace.
Learn to Meditate or Pray Each Day
To benefit fully from its numerous mental, emotional and physical benefits, the key to this concept lies in the power of positive thinking – and practicing it on an ongoing basis. Whichever of its many forms you prefer, and whether a free, guided, online routine or one you’ve created yourself, meditation and prayer are among the easiest techniques to implement. They don’t even call for certain physical capabilities or special settings, equipment or personal instruction. Start by selecting a cozy spot and restful position. Eliminate any distractions. Inhale and exhale several deep breaths, until you find yourself becoming calm. Now, what makes you happy? What are you most thankful for? By allowing yourself to relax and ponder uplifting thoughts, you’ll soon enjoy a quiet, inner place of peace.
Take Note of Your Concerns and Start to Address Them
Little distractions are like applying temporary Band-Aids to your situation. They help cover it up for the moment, but don’t really heal the wound. Whatever’s worrying you will still be there, unless you make an effort to pinpoint what it is, to put it in writing and to find a solution. Then, try chatting about it with a family member, friend or trained counselor, in order to sort everything out more quickly.
Cuddle with a Cherished Pet
Perhaps the most amazing trick that animals perform is providing humans with sweet, unconditional companionship and the opportunity to give and receive affection – vital needs that promise a huge array of health-promoting benefits. Because Stoney Brook senior living communities are pet-friendly, our residents cozy up to their own beloved cats and dogs, and/or engage with their neighbors’ loyal partners, for a regular, mood-boosting dose of snuggles. While walking, caring for and having fun with pets, they also enjoy reduced anxiety, depression, loneliness and pain; lowered aggressiveness in dementia patients; increased laughter, communication and physical activity; improved vital signs; and a built-in comfort system that helps ease grief.
Hit an Indoor or Outdoor Mall
Mall walking has long been a popular pastime for the elderly, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a whole, welcoming world, offering a free, comfortable, safe setting with access to amenities and senior-friendly walking surfaces. There’s always something new or different to do with your day. And you can take advantage of lovely weather and head outside, or appreciate an ever-pleasant temperature inside, year-round. Meet up with friends. Go shopping for splurges or a gift for someone special. Indulge in local cuisine or a latte at the coffee shop. Watch the latest blockbuster movie – or the parade of fascinating folks also visiting the mall.
Watch for the next and final installment of our Stress Management Series. You’ll explore effective steps that caregivers and loved ones can take to decrease stress in seniors. And follow our blog, in order to keep preparing as best you can to aid the older adults in your life.
Depend on Serene Senior Living Steered by an Expert Team
Happily for them, Stoney Brook residents benefit from many chances each day to be involved in all of the healthy, stress-relieving activities noted above. As a knowledgeable leader in assisted living and memory care, we’ve designed our Central Texas senior living communities to prevent stressors and ensure residents truly flourish. Through a fun, sociable environment and ample, stimulating activities, you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest.
An expert in assisted living and memory care, Stoney Brook designed its senior living communities to help residents flourish. Through a fun, sociable environment and ample, stimulating activities including those listed above, you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest. To learn more, schedule a complimentary visit, or subscribe to our blog now.