Older adults tend to go through life taking care of the people around them–their kids, grandkids, and even their grandkid’s children. They had become so used to putting others’ welfare before their needs that self-care became a foreign concept.
Add to that the current health crisis and environmental changes happening, seniors can find themselves spiraling out of control and on the verge of a breakdown if they do not practice self-care.
Self-care refers to the practice of taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional welfare to become a healthier version of yourself.
It is not an act of being selfish. But instead, a technique allowing you to refuel yourself to better share what you have with others. It also comes with many benefits, such as:
- Becoming emotionally aware
- Can handle stress and build healthy ways to cope
- Prevents burnout, anxiety, and depression
- Improved sleep and focus
- Better relationships
So, here are some excellent self-care practices you can do to keep your overall health in its best shape.
Skipping meals or munching on unhealthy foods can comfort your soul but has harmful repercussions for your health. It can send your physical and mental well-being spiraling towards the unhealthy spectrum, making it hard to function properly.
Avoid feeling irritable and quickly exhausted by consuming nutritious meals full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats for energy.
It is also essential for seniors to hydrate themselves every day. So, make it a point to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water daily. Avoid carbonated and sugary beverages as they have a terrible effect on your brain and cognitive functions.
Be One With Nature
Disconnecting from social media and graphic news can actually do more good than harm, especially for seniors.
Log out of Facebook and sign in on a hiking trip with your loved one. Go out and breathe the fresh air into your lungs and feel the warmth of the sun. Watch the birds, hear the little scuffle of tiny animals, and smell the fresh breeze.
Besides the relaxing effect it brings, nature has many benefits to your physical body, such as lowering your blood pressure and strengthening your heart.
It does not always have to be a trek to the mountains; it can be as simple as walking around your local park or sitting on the porch and appreciating your surroundings.
Engaging in regular exercise comes with plenty of physical and mental benefits, making it an ultimate self-care practice.
Working out for 15 to 30 minutes per day already amounts to several benefits to your body, such as:
- Improved physique
- Strengthens the immune function
- Reduces the risk of disease development
- Improves mood and self-confidence
- Increases energy levels
- Enhances sleep, focus, and critical thinking
Moreover, studies have found that women with good fitness status have a 90% chance of NOT getting neurodegenerative disorders like dementia. Physical activities allow the brain to receive a substantial amount of oxygen and nutrients, protecting it from several diseases.
Pursue a Hobby
Life can sometimes get in your way of pursuing your passion or reconnecting with your beloved hobbies. But now, with a lot of free time at your disposal, you can start rekindling that spark of joy you feel when you are doing something you love.
Whether it is as simple as reading a book or painting your surroundings, you need to dedicate some time to pursue your hobbies or find a new one.
Hobbies may seem unimportant, but it is actually an excellent way of unwinding, relaxing, and giving your life a sense of purpose.
It’s time to sign up for that book club or yoga class you had been invited to!
Spend Time With Loved Ones
Another way to practice self-care is by going out and connecting with your loved ones.
Loneliness and isolation can sometimes creep up, especially if you live independently or at an assisted living facility. When you’re lonely, you start to lose interest in doing the things you enjoy and find it hard to take care of yourself.
To avoid these negative feelings, you should clear your schedule at least once a week and make time to catch up with your family and friends. You can try:
- Inviting friends for afternoon tea at your favorite cafe.
- Organize family lunches or Sunday barbecue gatherings.
- Invite your BFF to join you in your Zumba workout sessions.
- Schedule Skype video calls with distant relatives.
Talking about your emotions or just chatting about mundane things helps relieve the stress you have been experiencing, even without realizing it.
Make Time for Relaxation
Self-care means allowing yourself to take a breather from your fast-paced life. It requires you to take a step back from all the stress to fill your depleted physical and emotional cup.
One of the most effective ways to do that is by relaxing. Find activities that can help you relax and let go of all the things pinning you down, such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises. It can also be in the form of a hobby that relaxes you internally, like gardening or baking.
Relaxing allows you to clear your mind, ground yourself, and shift your focus away from the things you cannot control. This will help you how to handle stress properly and how to become less reactive to stressful situations.
Get Plenty of Sleep
A good night’s sleep is an essential self-care routine because it impacts the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your life.
Getting enough sleep allows your physical body to repair itself while also strengthening your mental and emotional awareness.
Here are some healthy sleeping tips you can try:
- Train your body to sleep early and wake up just as the sun starts to rise to expose yourself to that natural light.
- Avoid working out or drinking caffeinated drinks right before bed.
- Relax your mind by reading a book or listening to soothing music an hour before bed.
- Avoid using electronic devices an hour or two before sleeping.