Stress is part and parcel of life – we may not be able to avoid feeling stressed, but what we can do is learn to manage it well. When we or our loved ones go through an event that significantly changes how we live our day-to-day lives, we may suffer from the negative effects of stress. Other than that, health issues, grieving, or financial concerns are all significant sources of stress among us.
Although we may not be able to change the circumstances of certain stressful events, we do have the ability to control how we choose to deal with stress. With proper stress management skills, we will be better equipped to embrace any difficult situations that we encounter in life. Here are some tips for managing stress in seniors.
Speak with a Trusted Friend or Counselor
Some people may resort to using unhealthy coping methods to divert themselves or escape from their stress. However, we know that such methods of distraction usually do not help, and are only means to avoid the problem rather than fixing it. When left to our own devices, we may not always make the right, logical decisions. It is only when we feel safe and supported, that we are empowered to identify the source of the stress and confront the issue directly.
One healthy method to deal with stress is to talk to a trusted friend or expert. As simple as it sounds, having a listening ear and letting others know what you are going through can help tremendously in reducing stress in practical and concrete ways. This process of sharing allows ample time and resources to provide the aid and relief a stressed person needs. If you noticed that a loved one is unable to cope with excessive stress, it is best to encourage him or her to get the right care and assistance immediately.
Take Care of your Physical Wellbeing
Whether it’s group fitness classes or one-to-one training programs, physical activity is an excellent and proven stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins which make you feel good and combat stress hormones naturally. By engaging in physical activities, your loved ones will be better able to mitigate the negative effects of stress. These are some simple low-impact exercises that you or your loved one can do to help with stress management:
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
- Bodyweight workouts
- Regular stretching
- Tai chi
The duration and intensity of these exercises in everyone’s weekly regimen is different. Depending on your current fitness level and physical condition, these exercises can also be adjusted to meet your needs or those of your loved one. Always check with your healthcare provider about the suitability of any physical activities for your current health condition.
Join a Support Group
If our spouse, family member or friend passes on, we will feel a deep loss and experience a great sense of grief. If the source of stress is due to grieving the loss of a loved one, you should consider joining a support group where you’ll be able to freely share about your feelings. The support group is a safe place without judgment where others who are going through similar experiences can connect through shared experiences and grow stronger together.