Americans are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever before. These are unprecedented times – besides the fear of the ongoing health crisis, routines continue to be disrupted and relationships estranged. Senior citizens may especially benefit from implementing self-care into their daily routine. Taking care of themselves is a great way to lower stress and anxiety and live a more peaceful life.
Taking care of oneself these days means lots of hand-washing, mask-wearing, and vaccines. But it also requires working on building natural immunity and maximizing physical and mental health. Here are three quick and easy tips for self-care for everyone, but especially seniors.
Did You Know? Seniors comprise 16% of the U.S. population and make up the most vulnerable population regarding COVID-19.
Self-Care Tips for Overall Health
- Get Plenty of Sleep: When we sleep, our bodies can heal from the stressors and environmental attacks from the day. Depriving our bodies of sleep is especially detrimental during stressful times. Many people believe that seniors need less sleep as they get older, but that is actually a myth. Older adults need just as much sleep as young adults do, and sleep benefits health at any age. To ensure a good night’s sleep, establish a comfortable temperature in the bedroom and regularly change out the linens. Decide on a bedtime and stick with it, as it trains the body to know when sleeping is expected. Many seniors have found that a warm bath before bed or diffusing essential oils can help. Finally, seniors may not realize that switching off electronics is vital in creating the best sleeping environment.
- Establish a Nutritious Diet: When people hear the term “self-care,” they often think of extravagant or luxurious treatments. However, one of the most prominent ways to take care of oneself is much more mundane every day. It all comes down to a healthy diet and nutrition. Eating well can become more of a challenge when seniors lose the ability to drive alone, shop by themselves, or prepare their own meals. Others are simply nervous about being in a crowded grocery store, given the current pandemic. There are many ways seniors who live at home can guarantee getting healthy food, such as grocery delivery services or family who can help with shopping. If the senior lives in an assisted living facility, the kitchen typically provide nutritious meals and special diets. Read more about healthy eating here.
- Create an Exercise Routine: Daily exercise is also an essential aspect of self-care. Many seniors resist exercise, as they may be afraid of hurting themselves or aggravating their aches and pains. But not exercising can actually cause someone to feel worse. Seniors should consult with their doctor regarding an appropriate level of activity for their specific health situation. For most seniors in relatively good health, low-impact activities such as walking or swimming can be perfect for providing exercise without putting stress on joints and bones. Read more about exercise for seniors here.
By establishing a nutritious diet, setting an exercise routine, and getting a good night’s sleep, seniors can feel better and stay healthy in both mind and body.
A Banyan Residence is an assisted living and memory care center based in Venice, Florida.