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11 Ways for Seniors to Relieve Stress

senior man sitting and reading in a sunlit room

Most older adults want to embrace a more carefree lifestyle, absent of worry and anxiety in retirement. Oftentimes, though, sources of stress change, keeping it necessary to practice stress-relieving self-care.

“We often think about stress as impacting mental health,” says Valerie Gostele, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lake Forest Place. “But chronic stress actually affects all systems of the body and increases the likelihood of disease.”

Here are 11 ways you can reduce your stress levels and how a senior living community like Lake Forest Place can support you in doing so.

Tips To Manage Your Stress

  1. Get your daily dose of fresh air. Being outside can increase the oxygen levels in your brain, which boosts serotonin levels. Lake Forest Place offers residents 60 acres of well-manicured lawns with walkways and shaded seating. Residents can also enjoy an outside meal at our outdoor dining terrace or work in our community garden.
  2. Find release through exercise. The Mayo Clinic calls exercise “meditation in motion” and highly recommends finding time for regular workouts. Most senior living communities provide residents with access to a fitness center and exercise classes suited to their abilities.
  3. Engage in lifelong learning. Increasing feelings of competency and growth can counteract stress hormones, and what better way to do this than to learn something new? The Lake Forest College Lecture Series and our arts and crafts classes are both pathways to continuing your education.
  4. Hand off difficult or time-consuming responsibilities. In some cases, stress relief comes from minimizing obligations, especially ones that are becoming increasingly challenging. Senior living provides you with a relaxed and convenient life with no more housework or chores.
  5. Make time for a good night’s rest. Getting more sleep is a top recommendation by the American Psychological Association for decreasing anxiety. Sometimes older adults don’t realize how profound the difference feels until they consciously change their sleeping habits.
  6. Engage in cognitive restructuring. The point of cognitive restructuring is to replace worrisome thoughts with thoughts that help calm your mind. You can work through exercises with yourself or with a therapist to reduce stress.
  7. Eat mindfully. A healthy diet provides nutrients to properly cope with difficult emotions, and mindful eating practices counteract stress by improving digestion and increasing your enjoyment of a meal. Wellness programs like the one at Lake Forest Place support your diet-related goals, which can help with stress management.
  8. Spending time with family and friends. Regular and quality time spent with loved ones can help you relax, lower your blood pressure, and help build a support system. These connections can be strengthened through senior living classes, events and outings.
  9. Practice deep breathing exercises and mindfulness. Both of these habits can clear your mind and boost your mental health.
  10.  Enjoy nostalgic music or read a great book. During times of high stress, sometimes older adults need a small escape. Music that reminds you of cherished memories or a story that captivates you can quiet your anxious thoughts and help you tap into positive emotions.
  11.  Volunteer. Anxiety can sometimes stem from a lack of meaningful work. For some more than others, it’s important to use their gifts, training, and experience to help others. Throughout the year, Lake Forest Place residents engage in philanthropic activities facilitated by the community.

Find Solace and Comfort at Lake Forest Place

A source of stress for seniors is often the inability to predict future health needs. With a Life Plan Community like Lake Forest Place, older adults can count on stable monthly fees and a full continuum of care. Lake Forest Place offers the lifestyle, services and amenities that ensure seniors can live more fully and with fewer worries. Call us today to schedule your personal tour.