It is inevitable that life will bring times of stress and anxiety, even in our retirement years. We know chronic stress can negatively impact our health and well-being. It can increase blood pressure, contribute to diabetes, cancer, weight gain, and digestive issues, like ulcers. Although we can’t completely eliminate stress, we can be prepared with some tools, like Active Relaxation, to alleviate the affects on our body and mind.
Active Relaxation are activities that help bring a sense of peace and centeredness. It is a little different than passive relaxation activities like meditation or napping. Active relaxation may look like a leisurely stroll, accompanied by deep breathing, on the walking trail system at Starhaven Villas. It could also include tending to your garden box in the Starhaven Community Garden.
If music is more your thing, try turning up the volume and dancing around your kitchen or grab a chair and practice chair yoga.
Are you the creative type? Grab your paint and brushes and join Bob Ross in a landscape painting session. Painting isn’t your thing? Keep an adult coloring book on hand with some fun gel pens or colored pencils. What about crocheting, cross-stitch, or knitting? All of these creative outlets can bring calm in a tense situation.
Many people find writing therapeutic. Start a gratitude journal or begin writing your personal history. You could also write a letter, or thank-you cards to friends and neighbors.
Do you find order important in your life? If so, organizing a closet or cupboards could bring a sense of control in a situation that is beyond your control.
Maybe you’re a movie buff. Find a comedy you like and allow yourself to laugh out loud. Laughing releases endorphins and is shown to create a sense of well-being.
The point of these suggestions is to give you ideas of activities that you enjoy that would bring you peace and happiness during stressful times. If you are proactive and have a list at the ready, you’ll be able to navigate stress and anxiety much better and reduce it much sooner.