According to The American Institute of Stress, chronic stress is widely believed to accelerate biologic aging and has negative effects on immune system function.
Stress can come in various forms whether it be from work, family, home maintenance, finances or care giving. April is National Stress Awareness Month, an important reminder that proper stress management can help improve your health and counter the negative effects of stress. How can you take action?
1. Stay Active
Light exercise has been shown to reduce stress hormones and release endorphins, those feel-good hormones which counter the feeling of stress. Commit to exercise three days a week, consider group exercise classes at a local senior center or scheduling time to walk with a friend.
At The Village at Gainesville, the Vitality Program offers daily opportunities to stay active, whether it is in the gym, during a group exercise class with friends or a personal training session. We understand the importance of exercise and have made it simple for our residents to get the most out of their workout routines.
2. Schedule Alone Time
The world is a busy place and is full of distractions. The best way to take control of your stress is to find time to be alone and recharge. Set boundaries and stick to them. Maybe you need an hour of alone time a day or 15 minutes in the morning might be all you need. The key is to have enough time to relax and allow your mind to wander away from stressful thoughts.
To make the experience fully rejuvenating, consider practicing meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. At The Village at Gainesville, our nature trail is a great opportunity for our residents to take 30 minute walks to unwind.
3. Find Joy
Focus on the moments in your life when you feel the most joy. Maybe it is when you complete a painting, spend time with grandchildren, plant flowers in the garden or read a book. Identify those joyful moments and commit to doing them more often.
You can also expand the feeling of joy by sharing these moments with others. At The Village at Gainesville residents are given every opportunity to take their joyful moments and create or participate in a class to spend time with others – whether it’s an art class, book club or gardening club, joyful moments are easily multiplied.
Stress does not need to control your life. These steps will put you on a path to positivity, leaving your stress behind.