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Senior Woman Reading Book

14 Ways to Beat Stress

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress symptoms can affect your health, even if you don’t realize it. Stress can cause headaches, anxiety, muscle tension or pain, restlessness, angry outbursts, chest pain, lack of motivation, over or undereating, social withdrawal, fatigue, irritability, sleep issues, depression, and more.

Here are 14 easy ways to beat stress. Find the ones that work best for you and make them part of your routine.

  1. Take a breather. Literally. Take a deep breath in, and slowly let it out. Watch this deep breathing video by Shannon from our Living Plus Health & Wellness program and learn deep breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety.
  2. Stretch. Another simple task. Stretching can help relax your muscles and improve your flexibility. Here are 7 Simple Stretches for Older Adults from SilverSneakers.
  3. Treat yourself. Small pleasures can go a long way to brighten your day and help you destress. It doesn’t have to be big—something under $5—a paperback, a pair of fun socks, a fancy cupcake from the bakery.
  4. Call a friend or family member. Connecting with someone you care about can make a world of difference to you and them!
  5. Light a candle or use an oil diffuser. Research shows that you can boost your health and mood with scents you enjoy.
  6. Take a walk. Get some fresh air, step away from the news, chores, or work, and get outside to clear your head.
  7. Get take-out from somewhere new. Try something different. It’s a great way to support local businesses and stay safe at the same time.
  8. Go to the library or check out books virtually. Visit your local library’s website—many are offering grab & go services and curbside pickup.
  9. Color. There are tons of coloring books for adults out there. Grab some colored pencils or markers and let the creativity flow. You can also find free coloring apps for your smartphone that let you color, save, and share your creations.
  10. Volunteer. Helping others makes you feel good. Find a cause that’s important to you and contact the organization to see what (safe) volunteer opportunities they have available.
  11. Be grateful. Negativity can weigh you down. Take a moment to think about everything you have to be grateful for; maybe even make a list. Or, send a thank-you note to a friend or family member—even if it’s just to thank them for being themselves. You’ll feel better and make their day.
  12. Tune out. Turn off the screens—TV, phone, computer. Shut down for a set amount of time, 10 minutes, an hour, whatever feels right for you.
  13. Write it down. When you’re feeling stressed out, grab a notebook and pen and start writing. Releasing your feelings on paper can help relieve that overwhelmed feeling. Who knows? You may just spark a creative streak and write the next great American novel!
  14. Get moving. Go for a walk, hop on the treadmill, dance around your living room—whatever strikes your fancy. Looking for something a little more structured? Join HealthTeam Advantage’s Living Plus Senior Fitness class Monday mornings at 10 a.m. on our Facebook page or check out virtual live and on-demand classes with your SilverSneakers benefit!
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