Senior Snippets - Tips for Reducing Stress

Tips for Reducing Stress

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans, Director of Home Instead in Sheffield.

Aging brings about new challenges such as health, finances, and dealing with change that can cause stress to build in older adults. Stress is a normal part of everyday life and there's no escaping it, but there are some ways to deal with it that are more healthy and beneficial than others.

In this edition of Senior Snippets, we will be sharing some tips on how to manage stress. Everybody copes with stress differently, and it is important for those feeling stressed or anxious to find healthy ways to cope with the negative and potentially harmful feelings they are experiencing.

Participate in social and community activities. Social interaction and a sense of giving to your community enhance self-esteem and reduce stress. Older adults need to spend time with family or friends for a few hours each day to really see the benefits. Joining a lunch club or community group is a great way to stay connected. It also helps to prevent loneliness and isolation.

Take care of yourself. Get regular exercise, eat nourishing food, and maintain a healthy weight.

Stay focused on positive things.  Avoid negative self-talk such as “I can’t do that” or “I’m too old.” When your self-talk is negative, you will feel more stress. Instead of thinking what you can’t do, remember what you can do.

Participate in activities you enjoy. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Take up ballroom dancing? Mentor a child? Volunteer for a local charity? Now is the time! (And activities like these will also help your brain.)

Read. Reading is a tried and true way for seniors to relieve the stress in their lives. It is a technique used to escape from the stress of life without ever leaving home. Studies show that reading reduces the heart rate and releases tension in the muscles. Reading at least 30 minutes a day, or even listening to audio books, can have a significant impact on the reduction of stress.

Make a list of the important things you need to handle each day. Try to follow the list so you feel organized and on top of things. You will get a feeling of accomplishment as you make your way through the list.

It is important to remember that we do have control over the stress and choices we make in our lives. It sometimes takes a little practice and effort to put some of these techniques into play in your life. But once you do so, you may be pleasantly surprised at the positive benefits you’ll receive.

If you have an ongoing problem with stress and worry that prevents you from enjoying life, and you feel that you cannot control these feelings, help is available.

If you would like to speak to someone at Home Instead, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We also welcome any suggestions for future topics from you all. All you have to do is write to me at [email protected] or by post to 6 Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield, S11 8YL Bryn Evans