Managing stress for seniors can be difficult and create numerous not only health but emotional concerns. The most important thing to remember is that you are in control of your own actions and reactions. Learning to deal with your own stress properly can have a profound impact on not only you, but those that are close to you as well.
We need to have the right amount of stress or tension in our lives to get us moving and motivate us to be our best. Too much stress, though, can be dangerous for your physical, mental, and emotional health, especially if we feel like it is out of our control or we do not feel like we can deal with it.
Our Bodies: Let us think about our bodies for a minute –
- has anyone ever had a headache that they think might have been caused by stress?
- or felt like there is a heaviness in your stomach?
- felt nervous and worried for a long time?
- felt pressured, hassled, and hurried?
- felt angry, irritable, and moody?
- had trouble sleeping for more than one night?
- felt sad, hopeless, or depressed?
- felt like you are turning red or feel flushed?
Those can be the result of stress and are just a few ways that it can affect your body as well as your emotions.
Stress Management Ideas
Stress Reduction: Finding ways to reduce your stress can help you to make it through the changes that can occur due to health, finances or loss of someone or something.
- Stress should be managed and do not look to eliminate it completely.
- Remember that some stress motivates us.
- Talk about your stress.
- Time spent talking with others is valuable, even when you have a lot on your plate. “Getting it off your chest” allows you to release it and reduce the feeling of being alone in this journey.
- Complete tasks as you can; focus on completing quick ones first.
- Having too many “to-dos” can be stressful, even if none of them are excessively big.
- Completing the small tasks will clear up your mind to focus on larger things
Self-Care and Balance: Stress can start a destructive cycle and taking care of yourself can be neglected, which leads to more stress. People who devote too much time in one area of their life often struggle to deal with stress when that area is threatened.
- Make a point to focus on your needs, such as eating well, keeping a consistent sleep schedule, exercising, and other forms of self-care.
- Ensure you balance your time and energy between several areas, such as your career, family, friendships, and personal hobbies.
- Overextending yourself will bring on more stress, balance is the key.
- Set aside time to relax and have fun every day, without interruptions.
- Spending time on ourselves’ usually gets ignored when things get hectic.
- However, when that time is neglected, everything else becomes overwhelming and stressful.
Caregiver Stress: Caregiving can create a unique stress. Caring for others and not caring for our own needs can create exhaustion, stress and at times a hopelessness. Looking for outside resources can seem overwhelming and finding a place where you feel comfortable can be difficult.
At New Haven, we have consistent healthy dining options, active/fun activities, therapeutic activities to reduce stress…find out more about how New Haven can help with stress and offer a comfortable environment, we are one of the tools you can use to reduce stress.
When you are in the middle of stress, problems can feel bigger than they are.
- Take a moment and think about how important your stressors are in the big scheme of things.
- Take the five-year approach, will it matter in five years?
- Keeping a journal and writing down your feelings, can help to release the fears and stressors.
- Remember to be kind to yourself.
- Encourage rather than criticize yourself.
- Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend in the same situation
For more information, visit our website or call one of our senior living specialist today to find out how New Haven can offer care and support and to get more information about our community and how we can work together to manage stress.
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***This information is not designed to take the place of mental health counseling or professional help. Please contact a mental health professional to provide ongoing mental health support and/or 911 in case of an emergency.