Self-Care for Seniors

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month. Over the past handful of years, the phrase “self-care” has risen in popularity. In the past, the prospect of taking time out of the day to care for yourself may have been perceived as selfish or even weak. These days, the importance of self-care is better understood by a wider range of Americans.

Self-care isn’t necessarily about indulging in shopping or treats. At its core, the term “self-care” is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your health, well-being, and happiness.

After years of caring for children and then their parents, partaking in self-care for seniors may seem like a foreign concept. However, it is greatly beneficial to your overall health. Those who practice self-care experience physical health benefits as well as mental.

This may leave you wondering: what are some easily accomplished self-care activities for seniors? If you’re uncertain how to begin, start with these care tips.

Utilize a gratitude journal

Aging presents a myriad of issues for older adults. As these problems present themselves, it is all too easy to sit and stew in them. This only makes the situation worse. Attitude is not a magical cure-all to whatever ails you, of course, but it does have a significant impact on your overall health.

So, take the time to reflect on what it is you are grateful for. Think of your family, your friends, your home, etc. Even the smallest things, like a good cup of coffee, are worth being grateful for. Either first thing in the day or last thing before bed, record a few highlights of your day. In moments when situations seem grim, you may be surprised how this little act can positively impact your mood.

Spend time in nature

Most Americans don’t spend enough time outside, and this is especially the case for seniors. With the luxuries of technology at our fingertips, it can be difficult to remind ourselves of the wonders of nature. If this sounds like you, make an effort to spend time outdoors. Breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on your skin is one of the fastest ways to receive a positive mental boost.

Spending time in nature” doesn’t have to mean extended hikes or strenuous bike rides, however. A walk along the beach or resting on a bench at the park is just as good a way to feel connected to nature and even lower your blood pressure.

Seniors should enjoy self care activities

Pick up old (or new) hobbies

In the thick of our careers, it is all too easy for our favorite hobbies to slip through the cracks. But retirement brings new opportunities. With more time to yourself, you finally have time to revisit your favorite pastimes. Carve time in each day to enjoy them– be it baking, writing, or fantasy football. Even 30 minutes a day will be great for your mood.

If you never practiced a hobby, it is never too late to pick up a new one. Think about what it is that interests you, and explore how you can incorporate that into your life as a hobby.

Make weekly plans with friends and family

We are innately social creatures, so it is no wonder that severe loneliness can impact our health. When you live alone, this is especially prevalent. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy the solitude of your home– seeing friends and family regularly will have a favorable effect on your well-being.

Schedule weekly coffee dates or dinners with those who live nearby. For loved ones who are a bit further away, your meetings might have to be monthly. You can also schedule a consistent phone or Zoom call with those who live in another state. This way, it is easy to stay connected.

Self care for seniors

Cultivate a healthier lifestyle

We’ve already stressed that mental health is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, but so is a quality diet, sleep, and exercise. A quality diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and grains leads to superior energy levels. This allows you to partake in exercise more efficiently, which releases endorphins (the “feel-good” hormone). Finally, a good night’s sleep will help set you up for success the following day.

Of course, it isn’t always possible to achieve all three of these aspects of healthy living every day. What is most important is that you strive to achieve them as regularly as possible. It won’t be long before beneficial outcomes are experienced in every aspect of your life.

An in-home caregiver can help you with self-care

If you want to start taking your self-care seriously but need help starting that journey, ask for assistance from your in-home caregiver. They can pick up whatever you need from the store to begin your favorite old hobbies, as well as help you create a healthy meal plan.

An in-home caregiver can aid with whatever activities of daily living you require assistance with. Home Care Powered by AUAF has acted as a leading provider of non-medical care for seniors in the greater Chicago area for more than 30 years. Learn more about our program by calling us at 773-274-9262.

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