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Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of Your Health

Mental Health Posts on Staying Put at Home Blog

The golden years.

It’s a phrase that suggests an existence of unadulterated serenity. However, the reality of older age can sometimes play out differently. Especially when you suffer from a health problem or care for a spouse with a medical condition, the golden years can quickly tarnish.

Seniors are no strangers to stress. But what you may not realize is that it can complicate existing health issues, including heart disease and diabetes, or increase the likelihood of their development. So it’s important to cultivate effective strategies to keep stress at bay.

Reach Out to a Friend

Socializing does more than give you an excuse to try out that new restaurant. Spending time with friends can also suppress the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol levels remain high over a sustained amount of time, they can negatively impact many facets of health, including immunity and metabolic function. So when you’re feeling stressed, grab a friend for coffee or a movie. If you live far from loved ones, research senior centers in your neighborhood. It might take a few visits, but as you meet people, you can form new nurturing friendships.

Find an Activity You Love

There’s no denying that exercise is imperative to your physical health. Did you know, though, that physical activity can also boost mental wellness? According to the Mayo Clinic, working out is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and improve mood. Want more good news? You have a seemingly endless array of exercise options. Love feeling the wind in your hair? Go for a bike ride. Too cold or rainy for a bike ride? Then step on a treadmill to stay warm, dry and stress-free.

Indulge Every Once in a While

When stress initiates a fight or flight response, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. So go ahead and book that massage. Research shows that massage therapy can be a highly effective stress management tool, though individuals with certain conditions like osteoporosis should first consult their physicians. Not comfortable with the intimate nature of massage? You can still reap its benefits without a masseuse. Products such as walk-in bathtubs often come with water jet systems that can massage away tense muscles, stiff joints and stressed bodies.

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