February 1, 2023
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How to Ensure Effective Stress Management in Seniors

3 min read
Stress Management

Stress management is important for everyone, but it is particularly important for seniors. Chronic stress can lead to serious health complications in anyone, but it can be particularly detrimental to seniors who are more susceptible to these health issues. The good news is that there are plenty of activities and options that can help with stress management in seniors.

Physical Exercise

Exercise helps reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body while encouraging the production of endorphins. The former two induce stress while endorphins are called feel-good hormones because they reduce it. This means that exercising is one of the best ways to reduce stress in seniors.

Seniors can find exercises that provide benefits without harming them. These include exercises like aerobics, walking, yoga, cycling and stretching. Also, talk to your doctor before taking up an exercise so they can ensure they are safe for you.

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Encourage Spending Time in Nature

Research shows that spending time in nature can help reduce cortisol levels, one of the stress hormones. This can help reduce psychological and physical stress, making going for a nature walk great for seniors. A secondary benefit is seniors getting some of the exercise they need by doing these walks.

You do not need to walk through nature to enjoy its benefits, though. Sitting in nature with a book or just watching the outdoors can provide benefits too. Those living in urban areas can check if their local clubs have walking groups or classes and join those.

Encourage Socialization

Socialization can become difficult as we age. This happens as maintaining social connections with friends and family becomes more challenging. Additionally, the lack of a support system and mobility or health issues can make it difficult to venture outside the home.

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Many people report feeling better, having a purpose and meaning, and being in a better mood with a strong social structure around them. While you can encourage your loved one to start making friends, this can be achieved more easily by moving them to an assisted living facility.

These facilities not only have peers they can connect with, but Westmont senior living facilities like Pathway to Living have amenities and activities that purposely encourage socialization. They also have staff who provide the support structures some seniors might be missing in their lives.

Being Creative

Everyone can benefit from creative activities, including those who are not particularly good at them. Activities like art and music stimulate the release of oxytocin and endorphins, both of which reduce stress and make you feel better. 

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Art projects like making jewelry, knitting and drawing also stimulate the creative side of your brain. By exerting your brain and forcing you to use it in different ways, these activities can also improve cognitive health and slow down memory loss.

Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords and Sudoku can provide mental stimulation that leads to stress reduction. They also provide a great distraction when you are feeling anxious.

Stress management is important for seniors, and there are lots of different ways to achieve it. However, if stress starts having a detrimental effect on your health, it is time to talk to a healthcare professional for help.

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