For seniors, stress comes from all angles, and it can be hard to learn how to deal with it while tackling other life changes. With supportive team members on their side, such as in-home care, medical professionals, and loved ones, seniors can face stress head-on without missing a beat.
Stress is a natural part of life, but it’s essential to understand that not all stress is bad. Stress, called eustress, keeps people alert, on their toes, and ready to jump into action. Eustress turns to distress when a person consistently works through issues with no breaks and no time to relax. When people are overworked, tension builds up, and stress increases. It doesn’t help that stress wreaks havoc on eating, sleeping habits, and seniors’ overall mood.
WebMD.com states that 43% of all adults have encountered health issues due to stress, and 75–90% of doctor visits are related to daily stress. According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, stress costs industries in the United States over 300 billion dollars a year.
Combatting Stress: One Technique at a Time
There are steps to decrease stress, but it’s important to understand that no method will erase stress completely. How seniors handle the build-up to stressful events and their day-to-day choices can go a long way to keeping harmful stress at bay.
One of the first ways to decrease stress is to exercise a little daily. This doesn’t mean seniors have to work out for thirty minutes in the gym or run three miles each morning. Sneaking activity several times daily will keep their body and mind engaged, which is critical to living a less stressful life. The increased activity is good for their overall health as well.
In-home care team members can help encourage seniors to be physically active throughout the day. Adding up to three hours of mild-to-moderate activity to their weekly schedule can significantly increase their ability to deal with stress.
A second stress buster is to focus on breathing. Taking a few minutes daily to breathe deeply and engage in their surroundings benefits seniors. The art of being present helps reduce stress and is easy to do. This activity will improve sleep and mood. Mindfulness can improve focus and outlook.
Increasing their connections with others is another excellent way to decrease stress levels. Choosing to be with people who make them smile and laugh is essential. Seniors should set aside time each week to connect with some of their favorite people, even if it’s simply for a few minutes. Increased socialization can benefit them in other ways as well by decreasing depression and increasing their self-worth.
Managing stress is possible. Being mindful each day helps keep stress levels low. Taking deep breaths when stress hits is important, but working on breathing each day is even more important. Everyone handles stress differently. Finding what works and making it a habit is key. Seniors can rely on in-home care professionals to assist them during stressful times and encourage them to find the techniques that work for them.