When we think about the importance of staying healthy, we tend to focus on physical health, with eating well and getting plenty of exercise at the top of our list. However, it’s important that we pay attention to our mental and emotional health as well. Chronic stress can have a very negative impact on the way we think and feel. What’s more, it can cause physical harm or make existing ailments worse. That’s why it’s important to know how to minimize stress and to use those techniques regularly to maintain a more relaxed and positive outlook.
Strategies for Managing Stress
While everyone experiences times of stress, there are things you can do to help prevent or alleviate it, including:
- Express your emotions. Elders sometimes feel they just need to “get by” and not bother others with their feelings. Unfortunately, keeping emotions bottled up generates a tremendous amount of stress. It’s best to talk with a friend, family member, or counselor when you are upset.
- Focus on one issue at a time. Especially as we age, life can feel a bit overwhelming. When possible, resolving one concern before turning your attention to another is a more effective way to deal with them.
- Ask for help. Especially in a skilled nursing environment, there are many people—both staff and other residents—who will be happy to lend a hand. The key is to ask for their assistance.
- Provide Help. Assisting a friend or family member promotes feelings of accomplishment and self-worth that can be a great stress reliever.
- Resist the urge to be self-critical. It’s fair to give some thought to ways you can improve on how you are handling life’s challenges, but beating yourself up over your actions (or inaction) is not helpful. Try to counter those negative thoughts with positive encouragement.
- Occupy your mind with fun and interesting activities. Stressful thoughts and emotions tend to fill the void when we aren’t thinking about other things. Staying involved with hobbies, learning, and social interactions can help make it hard for stress to take hold.
Finding Ways to Help Elders be More Worry-Free
Our approach to life at Green House Homes at Mirasol is helping elders stay engaged, active, and interested in playing a role in how their house operates. It’s a unique perspective on skilled nursing, but our elders find it to be one of fulfillment, happiness, and less stress. And, it leaves their loved ones feeling the same way.
September/18/2017 | News