PART THREE: The Best Activities for Reducing Senior Stress
Welcome back to the Cardinal Bay Stress Management Series, our must-read guide to dealing with stress in older adults. Today, we’re discussing specific activities seniors can do to minimize anxiety and all of its many dangers. If you missed them, start by reading our two previous installments, which explained the risks, causes, and effects of stress and how to recognize and relieve it.
Whether you’re searching for stress management methods that support better wellness for yourself or a loved one, we recommend introducing the senior-focused ideas below:
Quiet Your Mind with a Meditation or Prayer Routine
Here’s the beauty of this idea: It doesn’t require any particular level of physical capability, nor any special setting, equipment, or personal instruction. Even better, studies show that regular practice can yield profound effects on stress reduction, as well as mental, emotional, and physical health. Look for free guided meditations online, or create your own meditation or prayer sequence. Just choose a comfortable, distraction-free area. Breathe deeply until you feel calm. Reflect on positive thoughts, like what makes you grateful. Before long, you’ll enjoy minimized daily stress and feel more content.
Delve into Words of Wisdom
Make reading a regular, healthy, and pleasurable habit. Pick up inspirational pages – sacred scriptures, spiritual texts, timeless classics, peaceful poems, heroic biographies, reassuring re-reads, and more. You’ll be enlightened, encouraged, uplifted, and, ultimately, restored to your less stressed-out self.
Explore The Great Outdoors
Feel like you are starting to fall into a rut of stressful habits? Whenever that happens, spend some time outside. Experts say that everyone should connect with nature, to nurture their whole selves. Go out for a stroll. Unearth a new trail, park, or forest. Tend to the garden, or visit one. Gather for a barbecue. Sit out on the porch. Don’t be trapped inside all day, because even a few moments outdoors, breathing fresh air, can make a difference.
Play with a Profoundly Precious Pet
Cardinal Bay senior living communities are pet-friendly for a million tail-wagging reasons. We’ve studied – and witnessed – all the natural ways that everyone gains from interacting with animals. Among them: are reduced anxiety, depression, loneliness, and pain; lowered aggressiveness in dementia patients; increased laughter, communication, and physical activity; improved vital signs; and a built-in comfort system that helps ease grief. So, pet a pup, cuddle a cat, or love on another joyful critter, whether your own or someone else’s faithful companion. Never owned a pet? Consider getting one, and then watch the affection and benefits grow right before your eyes.
Go Mall Walking…and Shopping, Dining, and People Watching
When was the last time you visited your local mall? Switch up your routine, and rediscover the many wonderful possibilities of that clean, secure, climate-controlled environment with access to amenities and level surfaces for moving around. Or head for an outdoor mall, where you can revel in splendid weather by exploring al fresco. Join friends for fun – browsing shops, chatting over a beverage or meal, and experiencing other attractions, like movie theaters. While you might feel tempted to spend some dough, spending time there can be free, simply soaking up the ambiance and camaraderie, and spectating other interesting people who walk by.
Write It Up and Dig Down to the Root Cause
Sometimes, merely identifying the source of your stress and even tentatively resolving it can begin to cultivate peace of mind. Mull over your concerns. Put pen to paper and record them. Get them off your chest by speaking about them with a trusted confidante, who can also help ease your worries by working together with you on tackling a solution.
Remember to Relax – and Take Good Care of Yourself
Develop healthy eating habits. Exercise your body often. Get a good night’s sleep. Self-care is extremely important, especially as we grow older. It can assume a variety of forms, but it always means engaging in activities that promote mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. We recommend a variety of relaxation techniques that cover all three bases – and feature stress-relief activities designed for the elderly as a regular part of our residents’ lifestyle.
Among our programs are yoga and tai chi classes, both widely recognized for releasing stress hormones in seniors and adaptable for a wide range of ability and mobility levels, like the option of seated exercises. Along with less stress and more mindfulness, they improve physical conditions and are linked to chronic pain relief, greater balance, stability and flexibility, better sleep, decreased blood pressure, and enhanced respiration function.
And don’t forget the power of an intellectual workout! Cognitive exercises may protect the brain, enabling it to become more adaptable, such as how it regulates stress hormones and combats the effects of ongoing stress. Stimulating cognitive activities for seniors include crafts, hobbies, card and trivia games, puzzles, Sudoku and video, and computer and mobile games/apps that provide mental exercise. Of course, learning something new, perhaps in an art, gardening, or cooking class, always expands the mind, no matter what your age.
Perhaps Above All Else, Stay Social
No matter what stress-lessening activities seniors engage in, they should always try to share them with others. Why? Many researchers, scientists, and doctors agree that regular social activity is of paramount significance to our overall wellness, especially for older adults, helping them to be happy and healthy and to increase longevity. It’s hardwired into humanity, and daily, in-person contact and plenty of quality social time can be critical. Whatever you’re up to, invite friends or loved ones along. And hint, hint: Sharing a laugh with a funny movie, a witty remark or a joke can always go a long, long way to lifting your mood.
Look for the next and last installment of our Stress Management Series. In it, you’ll discover steps that caregivers and loved ones can take to reduce stress in seniors. Be sure to follow our blog, so you can be completely ready to help the aging individual in your life.
Rely on Relaxed, Resort-Style Senior Living
Fortunately, Cardinal Bay residents can take advantage of daily, numerous opportunities to participate in all of the healthy, stress-reducing activities listed above. Designed to relieve stressors and staffed by skilled, attentive teams, Cardinal Bay’s senior living communities provide worry-free independent living, assisted living, and memory care in Texas and Oklahoma. Our residents enjoy a highly social, relationship-centered environment and a wealth of stimulating activities, ultimately leading to healthier, richer, and more fulfilling lives.
Schedule a complimentary visit to see for yourself how they thrive. Learn more by reading Cardinal Bay’s free, valuable resources, which are dedicated to the seniors and their caregivers navigating this next chapter.