Senior Stress: 11 Ways to Let it Go

May 17, 2018

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 5/4/17 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.


Most people look forward to retirement as a glorious end to their working years.

You picture days filled with doing all the things you’ve wanted to but never had time before.

Retirement can be all those things, but what retirees don’t expect is the stress that comes with it.

Once retirement becomes a reality there are numerous worries, like keeping yourself healthy, having enough money to maintain your lifestyle, and the overall adjustment to a new life.

Stress and worry aren’t good for your body or your mind!

It’s important that you know how to de-stress when those worries start creeping in.

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Try these tips

Regularly engaging in these activities can help to lower the stress and restore your peace of mind.

Here are some tips to help.

1. Just breathe

Simple, right?

Some easy breathing exercises can have a big effect on your stress levels, as your blood pressure!

While you’re practicing deep breathing, try to focus on the things in your life that you’re thankful for.

Counting your blessings is always a mood-lifter.

2. Get a massage

Many people swear by the relaxing, anxiety-reducing effects of a good massage.

A full massage isn’t for everyone, however.

If the idea makes you feel more nervous than calm, consider a facial, a hand or foot massage, or a mani-pedi.

Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself every once in awhile – you deserve it.

3. Play with your pet

Take your pup for a leisurely stroll or snuggle up with your cat.

Pets can offer you much-needed love and comfort to soothe your worries.

If you don’t have a pet of your own, consider visiting a local animal shelter.

Many assisted living facilities have visiting pets, too.

4. Read

Whether you enjoy poetry, a light-hearted romance, or biographies of inspirational people, take the time to enjoy the pleasure of reading.

It has the power to calm you and take your mind off the things that may be troubling you, as well as improving memory and giving your brain a boost!

5. Take an exercise class

Find something that’s just your speed and go for it.

Water aerobics is gentle on your joints and yoga for seniors will give your muscles a soothing, calming stretch.

If something upbeat is more your speed, try a SilverSneakers dance class.

There’s something out there for everyone.

6. Journal

The very act of writing out what’s on your mind can help you to gain some clarity and even come up with possible solutions.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, fancy, or even spelled correctly, just put your worries on paper.

After you’ve written down what’s worrying you, think of possible steps that could improve the situation.

It can help to share your worries with a friend or counselor, as well.

7. Play a game

Whether you make a standing date to play checkers with your friend each week or you have a monthly board game night, find a way to fit some game time into your schedule.

Your brain will benefit from the challenge and your spirit will benefit from the social interaction.

8. Walk the mall

There are endless entertainment opportunities at your local mall.

Shopping is always a fun pastime, or just browse around and people-watch.

There are usually fun places to grab a snack or drink and there’s always plenty to see.

Meet your friends for a visit or enjoy some solitude.

Either way, you’re bound to have your spirits lifted.

9. Get artsy

Take up painting, learn to knit or crochet, or take a drawing class.

Even if you’ve never considered yourself particularly artistic, you may be surprised by how much you enjoy an outlet of this nature.

Giving away the things you create will give you a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure, too.

10. Laughing

Laughter is good medicine!

When you feel the weight of the world bearing down on you, watch a funny movie or TV show.

Read something that makes you laugh or call that friend that never fails to make you giggle.

Don’t let a day go by without indulging in some deep-down, side-splitting laughter.

11. Care for you

Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s rest!

Be sure you’re getting adequate sleep and that you’re fitting in some sort of physical activity each day.

If possible, get some sunshine.

Eating a balanced diet can have a positive effect on your mood and emotions, too. Make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients you need.

Be intentional about taking care of yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Put self-care first

Troubles and worries will come, but they don’t have to take over!

Make the effort to breathe deeply, crack open a great book or stroll the mall.

Count your blessings!

Whether you’re walking a dog or reading some comic strips, laugh and have fun!

Do you have a tried-and-true way to de-stress?