At Westminster Communities of Florida, we believe that wellbeing is much more than just physical wellness, and that you must consider the entire being—body, mind and spirit—to be well. This summer, we’re diving into each of Westminster’s Eight Dimensions of Well-Being to guide you to whole-person wellbeing.
Your emotional state has a large effect on your overall wellbeing. Our emotional dimension is guided by a goal of understanding your feelings, accepting limitations and dealing with the stressors of daily life in order to achieve stability.
In this blog post, we’ll look at what causes stress in seniors, how to identify stress in older adults, and the top five ways to manage stress as a senior. Let’s get started!
What Causes Stress in Seniors?
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, and it can be especially difficult for seniors who are dealing with additional physical limitations. In fact, older adults experience higher levels of stress than younger adults due to a variety of factors, including changes in lifestyle, health issues and even financial concerns.
One of the most common causes of stress in seniors is isolation. As people age, they tend to become less socially active due to physical constraints or the loss of loved ones. This lack of connection can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, which can then cause increased stress levels.
How to Identify Stress in Older Adults
Identifying stress in older adults can be difficult, as the signs and symptoms of stress may manifest differently than in younger people. Common signs of stress in seniors include physical changes such as sleeping problems, fatigue, headaches, and digestive issues. Behavioral changes such as increased irritability, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, and social withdrawal are also common indicators of stress. Seniors may also experience a range of emotions such as anger, sadness, fear or guilt that they have difficulty managing.
Top 5 Ways to Manage Stress as a Senior
There are many strategies and techniques that can help. Here are five of the most effective ways to manage stress and anxiety in seniors:
- Get Regular Exercise: Exercise is one of the most beneficial activities for reducing stress levels, as it helps to increase endorphins and reduce cortisol levels. Incorporating aerobic activities such as walking, swimming or dancing into your daily routine can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Yoga is also an excellent way to relax tense muscles while also calming the mind.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being aware and present in the moment without judgement or criticism. Focusing on your breathing, paying attention to your thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them, and engaging in activities such as yoga or tai chi can be very helpful in managing stress.
- Talk it Over: Talking about our feelings with someone we trust or even a professional counsellor can be extremely beneficial when it comes to managing stress. It’s important to express our worries rather than keeping them bottled up inside which can lead to further problems down the line if not addressed properly.
- Make Time for Yourself: Taking time out for yourself every day is essential for maintaining emotional wellbeing as an older adult – whether that means going for a walk or simply taking some time out from your busy schedule for reading or doing something creative you enjoy. Allowing yourself some ‘me-time’ will help you stay focused on what really matters and allow you time to relax away from any sources of stress or anxiety you may be feeling at any given moment.
- Stay Connected: Staying connected with friends and family members helps seniors feel supported, loved, accepted and less isolated – all key elements when dealing with stressful situations. It doesn’t have to be a physical interaction either – social media platforms like Skype or FaceTime allow us to stay in touch without having to leave our homes which can be particularly useful if mobility is an issue due age-related illnesses such as arthritis.
Take Steps Towards Emotional Stability
Stress is an unavoidable part of life and can be especially difficult for seniors. It is important to take steps to identify and manage stress in seniors in order to maintain their overall wellbeing. By following these steps, seniors can be better equipped to handle the stressors of life and achieve a state of emotional stability.
When you choose to live at a Westminster Life Plan Community, you’ll have access to fun programming with all eight of our dimensions of wellbeing in mind, including addressing your emotional wellbeing. Learn more about the lifestyle you can enjoy at a Westminster community, and find the community near you today!