Are you feeling more anxious? Depressed? Constantly exhausted? You are not alone. Many of us are feeling increased stress because of changes we’ve experienced during the pandemic. Stress is a normal reaction the body has when we are exposed to pressure, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses.
Many things induce stress. Older adults, including those who live in senior communities, might experience increase stress as a result of managing chronic illness, caring for a loved one, losing a spouse, experiencing financial changes and being apart from friends and family members. Signs of stress manifest in many ways including headaches, heart palpitations, indecisiveness, irritability and even back pain, to name a few. Fortunately are ways to combat the physical effects of stress before they become too serious.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries. Personal care communities offer amenities to pursue physical wellness. Every Country Meadows location has fitness directors who provide exercise classes and provide one-on-one personal training sessions in on-campus fitness centers to customize physical activities to those each resident finds enjoyable.
Eat healthy foods
Eating a regular, well-balanced diet will help you feel better. If you live in a personal care community, meals are specifically designed to exceed nutritional requirements for seniors and include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein for energy. And just as important, do not skip meals. Increased hunger can put you in a bad mood and increase stress. Hence the slang term “hanger.”
Find your passion
Take time to enjoy your hobby and if you don’t have a hobby, try to find one. Taking time every day to do something you enjoy helps to relieve stress. And it doesn’t have to be for long—even 15-20 minutes offers benefits. Another benefit to living at a personal care community is that opportunities to join in new, unique events are offered to residents every single day. Some resident favorite activities at Country Meadows include art projects, making crafts, knitting, playing cards and other games and finding ways to volunteer for non-profit organizations.
Enjoy laughter and talking with friends
We’ve all heard the phrase, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” A good belly laugh will help to do the same thing, going a long way towards helping you feel relaxed. Personal care communities offer many opportunities for socialization and gathering with friends. Just stop by any one of Country Meadows’ daily happy hours and you’ll hear friends gathering to talk and share a laugh or two.
Take a break
Even if you live in a personal care community where social opportunities abound, it is important you enjoy quiet times of relaxation. Some examples include prayer, listening to music, private meditation, yoga and slow stretching. This “you” time is critical to give your mind time off from stress.
Accept that you can’t do things perfectly no matter how hard you try, and you cannot control everything in your life. As hard as it may seem, do yourself a favor and stop thinking you can do so much.
We all deal with stress differently. For more information on how to manage stress, click here.
Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best independent living communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs. The services within our independent living communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our independent living communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our independent living communities and answer any other questions you might have.