Tips for Retirement: Staying Stress FreeRetirement comes with a lot of great benefits, like being able to sleep-in and spending your days exploring instead of sitting behind a desk. But just because you no longer need to get yourself dressed and out of the door for work every morning doesn’t mean you don’t have any stress.
Financial worries, family needs, health concerns and even boredom can cause stress after retirement. Not only does stress affect your mental health, but it also can wreak havoc on your physical health. High blood pressure, heart disease, fatigue and stomach issues are just some of the many health problems attributed to stress.
Taking some “me” time every day can help you relax and clear your mind so you are better able to take on what life is throwing at you.
Here are some stress-relief activities to help you get started:
Inhale through your nose, feeling your belly rise, and then exhale by blowing the air out through your lips. An easy way to remember this is “smell the soup (inhale) cool the soup (exhale).”
Free your mind
Soothe your soul with one of the many meditation and guided imagery videos on YouTube or in the app store on your phone. If technology itself is causing you stress, try meditation on your own.
Sit in your backyard, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature. Be conscious of your breathing. Starting from your head and neck, tense your muscles, hold for a few seconds and then release as you exhale. Do this all the way down your toes while focusing on your breathing. Slowly open your eyes and become aware of your surroundings before going about your day with a fresh outlook.
Gentle exercise can help get your blood moving and is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It’s always more fun if you have a workout partner or walking buddy. Many gyms and senior community centers offer low-impact exercise classes, such as chair yoga or swimming. Some of them are even offered online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The buddy system
Keep in touch with friends! Whether you’re a texter or like to talk on the phone, share good times and bad while offering your support. You can even send a card or letter the old-fashioned way to make your friends smile when they arrive in the mail. You’ll feel good because your friend listened and shared their own thoughts, and the bonus is knowing you probably made your friend smile.
Massage and circulation
Another great way to ease stress is to get a massage. Make an appointment with a massage therapist in your area to take advantage of their knowledge, or even ask your partner to give you a shoulder massage. Or, if you prefer, there are plenty of ways to get the positive energy of a massage by yourself. Take the time to rub your own hands, feet, neck, and head to get your blood circulating and loosen up those tight muscles. Just the act of taking the time to massage your hands or neck during the day can help you relax, reassess, and move on in your day with a positive outlook.
Stress can do a number on your body and spirit, but these relaxation techniques can help relieve tension and ease your worried mind.
If your anxiety or stress is chronic or worsens, be sure to seek out help from your physician.
Your turn: What’s your favorite way to de-stress? Tell us about it in the comments.
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