Stress is real but most don’t associate it with the very young or the very old. Unfortunately it’s becoming more evident that each of those groups experience stress just like everyone else. At first you may think that the reason we stress out each day during our child rearing and working days is so that one day when we’re retired, we will be stress free. Things certainly do change in retirement years and later life but stress is still present. It just looks different. Some of the mental signs of stress can be: Patterns of negative thinking; a sense of despair; boredom with life; irritability; a morbid fear of disease; an inability to concentrate – forgetting things; and feelings of loneliness.
Whatever personal and societal factors you might be facing, psychologists and wellness consultants say stress management should be a cornerstone of our lives. Things will happen to us but how we respond to those will determine our stress level. The first step to coping with stress is learning to recognize it.
If you have suffered a loss, are struggling with an illness or disability, or are having trouble dealing with a major change in your life, know that symptoms of stress are normal and not a sign of weakness.
But prolonged sadness, anxiety, loss of interest in life, and giving up activities you once enjoyed are not always a normal part of getting older. They could be signs of depression.
If you are struggling to deal with stress or depression, you need to ask for help from your doctor or another member of your medical team.
Here are some strategies for coping with stress. Take care of yourself; get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet. Get regular exercise. Exercise releases hormones that help you fight off stress and depression. Participate in social activities. Find activities that you enjoy that will give you more social interaction. You could learn a new language, mentor a child or take up dancing. Talk about your feelings. Sharing your feelings with friends and loved ones is the best way to get these emotions out in the open where you can start to deal with them. Learn relaxation techniques.
Mind-body techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can be helpful. You might also relax by listening to music, reading, or participating in low-stress activities that you enjoy, such as a walk around your neighborhood. Put things in perspective.
Accept that there are some things you just can’t control—try to see the positive aspects of change. Solve whatever problems you can and let go of the rest. Also, don’t forget the value of humor.
These years do not have to be filled with sadness or stress. Studies show that most older adults do feel happy with their lives. Stress from the inevitable losses that come with aging are normal, but shouldn’t define your life.
If you are struggling with stress, the best thing to do is recognize it and take steps to manage it. It has been said that stress accelerates the aging process. Don’t let stress rob you of what can be some of the best years of your life.
The articles posted on this blog are provided for general information and discussion purposes only. These articles are not intended to suggest anything with respect to the operations or services of this office.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Raleigh, NC, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (919) 229-8944