by Matilda Charles
An informal poll of senior friends makes one thing clear: We are anxious and stressed, and no, it isn’t getting any better.
Turn on the news and there’s another tragedy. Buy groceries and there is serious concern that you might not get to the end of the month before running out of money. Of course, there’s the pandemic, which, despite the boosters, just isn’t going away.
There are, however, small ways to combat the anxiety and stress we feel.
Writing in a daily journal can help focus our thoughts. What, exactly, is it that’s making us anxious today? A few lines that target the problem can shrink it and keep the source from being so large and overwhelming. Then finish with a few gratitude lines. What are we thankful for today and what has gone right? It might be something as small as a friend telling a truly funny joke.
Adopting a pet can be a lifesaver, in more ways than one. Many people are giving to shelters the pets they adopted two years ago, pets that now need new homes. Consider the benefits of both cats and dogs. A cat stays inside and might even make you laugh. Dogs need to be walked, but a senior dog might not need long walks. Explore a new hobby, ideally one that is soothing and engages your mind.
Change your routine in small ways. Yes, you can have pancakes for dinner. Yes, you can sign up for the online music appreciation class at the college.
Don’t forget the basics. Get some kind of exercise each day, even if it’s just lifting hand weights. Look for yoga videos on the internet that are aimed at seniors. Monitor your diet. Limit caffeine, aim toward increasing fruits and vegetables, and drink the right amount of water.
Just take it one day at a time.