We like to think that our golden years will be carefree and easy, since we no longer have to work, raise a family or manage the other things that have caused us stress in the past. However, living a stress-free lifestyle as you age requires preparation and following tips and tricks so you’re able to avoid and manage situations that could potentially be stressful.
“There are many wonderful things about your golden years, such as having more free time and the ability to make and maintain friendships, especially if you move to a senior living community like Heritage Pointe,” says Mike Silverman, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Pointe, a senior living community offering exceptional lifestyles in the Jewish tradition. “Learning strategies to manage stress will help you remain healthy, active and engaged for as long as possible, allowing you to enjoy your golden years that much more.”
Mike says that one clear way that Heritage Pointe helps Residents live a stress-free lifestyle in their golden years is with assisted living services. “Our assisted living provides the care our Residents require so they can achieve the independence they desire,” he says. “Heritage Pointe inspires wellness through an extraordinary assisted living lifestyle, high-quality care and rich traditions. Our Residents enjoy a wide array of personalized services and support that are designed to keep them active, engaged and as independent as possible.”
What Causes Stress in Older Adults
The American Institute of Stress has a checklist of the most stressful events for individuals. Approximately half the list includes events that happen most often to older individuals, such as retirement, the loss of a spouse or close friend, financial changes and major illnesses and injuries. Oftentimes, older adults end up dealing with a lot of these stressors all at once, which makes life a lot more difficult. Ironically, the bodies of older adults don’t handle stress as well as younger adults, making the whole situation ripe for sleepless nights and stress-related health issues.
However, there are plenty of healthy and productive ways to cope with stress and live a lifestyle that enables you to enjoy your golden years to the fullest. Here are the top seven ways to help live a stress-free life as you age.
- Get plenty of exercise.
Staying physically active is one of the best and easiest ways to deal with stress – and it’s completely free! Even just five to ten minutes of exercise helps reduce the amount of cortisol in your body (the “stress” hormone) and boosts serotonin levels. Besides the physical benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your muscles strong, exercise helps improve your mood and helps you get a good night’s sleep. It’s also been shown that cognitive health can be improved through regular exercise, too. If you’re not currently exercising, it’s never too late to start. Try to get about 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day – and you can break that up into easily manageable chunks if that helps get you moving. Be sure to speak to your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for regular exercise.
- Be mindful.
The practice of mindfulness has become mainstream over the past decade as a tool for reducing stress and increasing well-being. Being mindful means training yourself to be aware of your emotions, accepting them and focusing on the present. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness – meditation, for example, is one of the most well-known and popular types of practices. Other practices include journaling or listing things you are thankful and grateful for. By quieting our minds and focusing our awareness on just being, you can almost instantly reduce your stress levels. Mindfulness is something you can practice at any time of the day, making it a great technique for everyone of all ages.
- Build a community of friends and peers.
Staying social and connected to others is essential for your physical, mental and emotional health. Being with others who care about us helps reduce stress because we’re receiving the support we need to feel uplifted and confident. This is one of the major reasons why many older adults choose to move into a senior living community like Heritage Pointe. Not only do these types of communities help alleviate stress by providing a maintenance-free lifestyle, but you are also instantly surrounded by a group of peers with whom you can form fast and deep friendships.
- Eat a healthy diet.
When we’re stressed out, we often reach for foods that are bad for us, like chocolate or potato chips. But that only exacerbates the problem. Eating a healthy diet will help you feel better and also reduce your stress levels. Since older adults naturally require more nutrients and fewer calories due to changes in their bodies, it’s even more important to make sure that everything on your plate is working as hard as possible. Be sure that you’re getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options in your diet. Avoid processed and packaged food, and reduce your intake of sodium- or sugar-rich foods. Be sure to speak to your doctor about any sort of nutritional needs you might have to help manage any underlying health issues.
- Find a routine.
Humans are creatures of routine, and having one can actually help us feel less stressed and more carefree. In a sense, a routine provides you a sense of purpose and direction. Your routine doesn’t have to be filled with chores and scheduled tasks. Routine can be as simple as getting up at a regular time, eating at regularly scheduled times, exercising and then going to bed at your usual time. By building a routine into your daily life, you’ll feel more centered and grounded, which definitely helps reduce stress levels.
- Find a purpose.
In our younger years, our purpose revolved around things like raising a family and building a career. Your golden years are a chance for you to evaluate your interests and passions and use them to build purpose and fulfillment into your life. Having a purpose boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of well-being that’s nearly impossible to replicate through other means. Are you passionate about helping others? Tutoring? Doing consulting work? Think about the things you enjoy doing and look for ways to use those skills and interests to improve your life … and the lives of those around you. Your purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be centered around volunteer-type work, either. Even setting goals like reading a book a week will provide purpose and get you excited about the future.
- Start a new hobby or pick up an old one.
This time of your life is the perfect opportunity to learn new things and pick up old hobbies that you may have set to the side. Now that you have all this free time, you can spend your days pursuing things you want to do … not that you have to do. Staying active with hobbies, events and activities are also a great way to make new friends, find purpose, get regular physical activity and many other benefits.
“Heritage Pointe is designed to help our Residents enjoy a stress-free, wellness-focused and inspired lifestyle,” says Mike. “Providing the amenities and services they require now and, in the future, helps Residents lead more active, healthy and joyful lives, no matter where they are on their senior living journey.”
ROOTED IN JEWISH TRADITION & CULTURE.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Heritage Pointe provides the highest quality assisted living and memory care to seniors in Orange County. Welcoming to those of all faiths, Heritage Pointe is Orange County’s only senior community rooted in Jewish culture, tradition and values.
For those who need some level of support to live their best lives, Heritage Pointe inspires independence and wellness through an extraordinary lifestyle, high-quality care and rich traditions. It’s a trusted, joyful community offering a lifestyle filled with possibilities – wherever a Resident may be on their senior living journey.
Our one-of-a-kind, nonprofit community is open to people of all backgrounds and faiths. Our mission is focused on our Residents and their independence, health, safety, comfort and happiness. Heritage Pointe has deep roots in this community and is committed to providing Residents with the best possible lifestyle and care both now and well into the future.
Call for more information at 949.284.8980 or visit our website.