Often, when people talk about stress, they frame it in relation to their job, but the fact is that for many people stress and anxiety have very little to do with work. A Harvard Study on generalized anxiety in older adults and retirees found that the condition is quite common in people over 60, and another study from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that more than 27% of older adults show symptoms of anxiety and/or stress.
This can, of course, be exacerbated by the time of year. The holidays can be stressful in myriad of different ways for people: either it feels too busy, stuffed with too many obligations, or it might feel lonely. If you or your loved one are feeling some stress or anxiety still left over from the holidays, understand that you are not alone. You can always contact Integracare about home assistance and health care, including massage therapy.
In this article, we will list a few tried and tested ways that you or your loved one can de-stress. Give the following tips a read to see if anything suits you or your loved one.
Give Meditation a Go
Sometimes, what we need most is to slow our thinking down, to center our mind and focus on the present. Meditation has helped countless people relax and find inner-peace, or at the very least draw attention to how their patterns of thinking cause stress and anxiety. Find a quiet, comfortable place and focus on your breathing, allowing your thoughts to come and go freely. For more information, here is a great primer on how to meditate.
Try a Low-Impact Exercise
For many, exercise can be a powerful and effective relaxant. As you or your loved one gets older, however, it becomes necessary to swap out high-impact exercises (like running and jumping) for low-impact exercises. These exercises include swimming, water aerobics, stretching, yoga and simply walking. If you or your loved one has recently been injured, or recently undergone surgery, inquire with Integracare about our in-home physiotherapy.
Chat with Someone
When times are tough, occasionally all we need is a friend with whom to talk. This can be an old friend, a loved one, or a home health care service professional. The American Psychological Association recognizes social support as one of the key ways to mitigate stress, citing our human need for connection and validation. It does not benefit you to keep your stress inside; instead, call up someone on the phone, or make plans to meet for tea or coffee.
Try Massage Therapy
The professional RMTs at Integracare help care for and support those with chronic pain, illnesses or conditions, and can be greatly beneficial to those suffering from any type of stress. Sometimes, we feel stress most acutely in our muscles and joints – hence the saying, “feeling the weight of the world” – and massage therapy can be precisely what we need. If you are interested in knowing more, you can learn about the benefits of massage therapy at the link provided, or call us anytime.
Listen to Music
Music can be a powerful stress management tool, absorbing our attention and relaxing us with pleasant tones, patterns and harmonic structures. Music has been shown to relieve stress, improve mood, and even improve self-esteem. The only limiting factor here is your personal taste; throw on a record that you love, and relax in a comfortable spot. As far as entries on this list go, this is one of the easier ones to execute, and can help you feel better almost instantly.
Spend Time Outdoors
It can be easy to get in the habit of staying cloistered indoors all day, but it isn’t good for your mental health to do so. Being among nature, absorbing the vitamin D from the sun and breathing in the fresh air can all be potent relaxants. If you are able, consider continuing to garden; it gets you out of the house, provides some low-impact exercise and allows you to interact with nature up-close.
Pick Up a Hobby
The source of anxiety might not be having too much to do, but rather too little. Hobbies can be a great way to take your mind off the stresses in your life, and give you a sense of accomplishment and joy. It can be something as straightforward as solving jigsaw puzzles, or putting together a game night for family or friends. Or you can undertake something more time-consuming, like learning a new language and mastering a new skill. You could take up painting or poetry, which, in addition to being a great hobby, can be a good creative outlet as well.
Eat a Balanced Diet
As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. For an overall boost to your, or your loved one’s, mood, health and wellbeing, make a concerted effort to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet often means incorporating more vegetables, heart-healthy fats and proteins. Obviously, Integracare understands that not everyone can cook balanced meals for themselves, which is why we offer high quality, professional in-home care for seniors. Everyone deserves to live their best life. For information on our personal support workers and registered nurses, call us anytime to learn more or check out our website.
Find a Four-Legged Friend
Pets have long been utilized for their therapeutic potential. Anyone who has stroked a cat’s back or scratched a dog’s belly understands the value of an animal’s love and companionship. While it might not be feasible for you or your loved one to get a pet, local animal shelters will often have an open door policy, encouraging people to come in and provide company for their animals, who are often hungry for some human attention.
Call Us to Learn More About Home Care
For many older adults, it is the stress of living alone that causes anxiety. They might worry about struggling to get their chores finished, or worry about who will help them if they should fall and hurt themselves. The presence of an in-home personal support worker or a registered practical nurse can help put their mind at ease, and give them someone to talk to. If you or your loved one thinks they would benefit from having some support around the house, please give us a call.
Talk to Your Doctor
Of course, some anxiety cannot be explained away by the time of year, nor can it be effectively treated with the tips above. For these cases, it is recommended that you discuss your stress with your doctor, who can prescribe medication or point you toward an alternative solution. Many people, especially older adults, are affected by anxiety, and it should be treated as any other condition – with help from your doctor and consideration from loved one.
In summary, if you or your loved one are feeling anxious or stressed, there are numerous ways to go about tackling the issue. From simple tasks like talking, playing games or listening to music, to more involved processes like regular exercise, home care and doctor-advised medication, you can find a solution.
At Integracare, we firmly believe in empowering seniors, ensuring they are living a joyful life. We go above and beyond to not only provide necessary services to our Clients, but to foster healthy and independent lifestyles as well. Our professionals work in collaboration with primary physicians and other health professionals, to provide the highest level of care for our Clients. Visit our website today or call us to learn more.