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How to relieve your stress

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April is Stress Awareness Month! Yes, it’s a favorite April holiday that we all love to celebrate…oh wait I’m thinking of Easter.

Stress Awareness Month doesn’t get as much publicity as awareness holidays like Breast Cancer Awareness or Heart Month, but it’s still just as important. Stress, when left unchecked, can lead to huge health issues like anxiety, depression, and heart attacks. It can also show itself visibly as acne or canker sores, as well as loss of sleep, digestive issues, and weight problems.

It’s surprising that more focus is not put towards relieving stress. But we have some ideas to help you conquer your stress.

What causes stress?

The main causes of stress in our lives is family, work, and health. There are tons and tons of reasons why people can feel stressed, and some can impact us more than others. As a kid, if you forgot your homework at home you likely felt stressed about the implications (a 0 for that assignment). The stress from forgetting your lunch at home when you go to work is likely a lot lower than the stress of hating your job.

Here are some common sources of stress broken down by category:

Life & Family

  • Divorce/Marriage issues
  • Getting married
  • Death
  • Moving
  • Taking care of a loved one
  • Birth of a child

Jobs & Money & School

  • Losing a job
  • Being unhappy at your job
  • Unfriendly coworkers
  • A new project
  • Harassment
  • New financial responsibilities
  • Getting a bad grade
  • An upcoming test
  • A presentation

How to treat stress

Now, as of this writing, there still is no cure for stress. Stress affects people of all shapes and sizes in different ways. For one person, losing a job is a financial nightmare, for another it’s a blessing in disguise so they can work on their new business.

It’s nearly impossible to create a treatment for stress that can help every single person. Here are some ideas that may be able to help you.

  1. Exercise: This is a great distraction from your stress. You’ll also feel great after a good workout.
  2. Talk to people: Spending time with people can help some relieve stress. It also might help to seek out a therapist who can listen to your problems.
  3. Get some sleep: Rest is important because lack of sleep can cause even more stress and make you irritable. Try exercising before bed to tire your body out. Remove screens for an hour before bed to give your eyes and mind a rest.
  4. Yoga or meditation: Find a way that you can take your mind off things and relax. Meditation is a skill you need to develop but it can help you find a few minutes of relaxation.

 

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General Health Tips for Seniors

If you’re over 65, staying healthy and in shape takes on a few extra dimensions.  It’s much harder, it takes much more work, and your body is much more finicky about what you can and can’t do than it was just a few years earlier.  It can be very hard to do it, but staying fit and healthy is essential for long and happy Golden Years!  Parent Giving shared a great list of tips that we would like to share with you to help you get started.  They may not all apply to you or your lifestyle, but whichever of them do are definitely to be kept in mind.  You can find the original here.

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  1. Quit smoking. Take this critical step to improve your health and combat aging. Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes and heart failure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis and to excessive wrinkling by attacking skin elasticity. Many resources are available to help you quit.
  2. Keep active. Do something to keep fit each day—something you enjoy that maintains strength, balance and flexibility and promotes cardiovascular health. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, reduce stress, avoid falls and look and feel better, too.
  3. Eat well. Combined with physical activity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. Many illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women prevent osteoporosis.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Use the Kaiser Permanente BMI (body mass index) calculator to find out what you should weigh for your height. Get to your healthy weight and stay there by eating right and keeping active. Replace sugary drinks with water—water is calorie free!
  5. Prevent falls. We become vulnerable to falls as we age. Prevent falls and injury by removing loose carpet or throw rugs. Keep paths clear of electrical cords and clutter, and use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms. Did you know that people who walk barefoot fall more frequently? Wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.
  6. Stay up-to-date on immunizations and other health screenings. By age 50, women should begin mammography screening for breast cancer. Men can be checked for prostate cancer. Many preventive screenings are available. Those who are new to Medicare are entitled to a “Welcome to Medicare” visit and all Medicare members to an annual wellness visit. Use these visits to discuss which preventative screenings and vaccinations are due.
  7. Prevent skin cancer. As we age, our skin grows thinner; it becomes drier and less elastic. Wrinkles appear, and cuts and bruises take longer to heal. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun. Too much sun and ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer.
  8. Get regular dental, vision and hearing checkups. Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly—that means daily brushing and flossing and getting regular dental checkups. By age 50, most people notice changes to their vision, including a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or focus on close objects. Common eye problems that can impair vision include cataracts and glaucoma. Hearing loss occurs commonly with aging, often due to exposure to loud noise.
  9. Manage stress. Try exercise or relaxation techniques—perhaps meditation or yoga—as a means of coping. Make time for friends and social contacts and fun. Successful coping can affect our health and how we feel. Learn the role of positive thinking.
  10. Fan the flame. When it comes to sexual intimacy and aging, age is no reason to limit your sexual enjoyment. Learn about physical changes that come with aging and get suggestions to help you adjust to them, if necessary.