Coping with stress and anxiety
Disruptions in normal life for many people can cause stress and anxiety. While it is important to be informed and to take action when it comes to our physical health, it is equally important to ensure you are maintaining proper mental health. Understandably with the recent COVID-19 pandemic some may be feeling stress and anxiety.
Determine what you can control.
If you find yourself worrying, take a few minutes to examine the things you have control over and explore ideas of how you can improve things. You will never be able to prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can't control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react.
It is very important to realizes that sometimes all you can do is to control your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you'll be much more effective.
Worries can be turned into productive preparations and cautionary behaviors like taking vitamins, stocking up on essentials and food, refilling medications and so on. It is equally important to prepare mentally. You can stock up on your favorite reading materials and calming scents like lavender; make time to socialize through phone, video calls, online gaming; and in your downtime engage in a hobby or interest you enjoy. When you find yourself worrying about something you have no control over and can’t convert into a positive preparation, it is helpful to “shelve” that thought, or let it go completely.
Take care of your body:
Limit Alcohol and caffeine
Eat well balanced meals: Eat regularly, do not skip meals and keep healthy snacks on hand
Get enough sleep: we should always be getting enough sleep but stress can interfere with sleep patterns causing us to either sleep a lot or not get enough sleep. Try maintain a scheduled wake up and bed time.
Exercise daily: Keeping within your own limits, individuals should try and get in a little exercise each day. Cooking, cleaning, playing active video games, going for a walk, gardening and home yoga are just a few great ways to get moving.
*HOT TIPS: Search youtube for exercise subjects such as "low impact exercises for seniors" or any variation. There are many exercise videos available for free. On Android or IOS devices go to your app store and search terms like "yoga, seniors exercise, exercising or other key words" to find applications that can get you moving through your smartphone or tablet. Please remember to consult with your healthcare professional before joining any new exercise program and always keep within your limits.
It is important to understand that the previous tips can help reduce and limit stress and anxiety they do not guarantee to eliminate it. Our reaction to stress is equally as important as trying to control it. Here are some tips to help cope with current stresses and anxieties.
Breath: Some studies have said that relaxing and taking deep breaths can have a calming effect. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, slowly.
Counting: Step back and count to 10 or 20. Repeat if needed
Take a time out: Read a book, meditate, do some yoga, listen to some music or do some other activity that you find enjoyable and relaxing.
Get help by reaching out to caregivers, family members or friends through your favorite online chat application such as Facebook, Skype or Zoom or by calling. If this is not an option call 211 for non emergencies and 911 for emergencies.
Consider having a professional caregiver to help monitor and assist with methods to reduce stress and anxiety
Lions Gate Home Care provides seniors with support services that could assist in relieving stress and anxiety. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety, feel free to call our 24/7 care line at (604) 980-6350 for a free in home health assessment.