Okay, if you’ve been following along, you are now immersed in healthy exercise, life sustaining food programs, great relationships with husbands, wives, children, siblings, in-laws friends and neighbors.
We’ve identified hundreds of opportunities to learn and explore and volunteer and travel, and best of all….we’re retired.
Why stress? You’ve’ reached Nirvana. Retirement. Right?
Every life has stress. It can’t be avoided. Sometimes it comes from big events like job changes, moving, or the death of someone we love. Sometimes, though, it comes from small, but chronic, events like a neighborhood dog who barks continually or a colleague who just drives us crazy.
Let me give you my most recent nemesis and causer of great stress.
Water flowing through my laundry room and over my bare feet, inside the house. The water heater sprung a geyser and surprise, no spill pan under it. Nothing $600 won’t cure.
Stress isn’t all bad, of course. It’s the thing that compels us to action when we need to do something about a bad situation – like getting away from an angry dog, for instance. But when stress becomes chronic, we can be overwhelmed.
According to Dr. Oz, in his book You: The Owner’s Manual, too much stress can affect our health negatively. It can even cause us to age earlier than we should. But stress can be managed, and it’s not terribly difficult to do. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time or any special equipment. Here are some other suggestions for managing stress.
- Identify your stressors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed you may not even know what is making your feel so anxious. Keeping a stress log will help you identify what is bothering you and enable you to come up with strategies to modify or eliminate those things.
- Enjoy your friends. Sometimes we’re so busy we put our friends on the back burner. It’s good for you to spend face-to-face time with people you trust and like. Take the time to interact. Call a friend for coffee or meet for dinner.
- Laugh. Laughing is really good for you. It reduces your anxiety and tension. Watch some funny movies or read a funny book. Go for at least five big belly laughs a day.
- Take a walk or engage in some other form of exercise. There’s nothing like a walk to take your mind off your troubles.
- Breathe deeply. When we’re stressed, we tend to breath in a shallow way. Simply slowing down our breathing and concentrating on our own breath for as little as five minutes can be a great stress reducer.
- Learn to meditate. Dr. Oz suggests that all we need for meditation is a quiet room and about fifteen or twenty minutes. He tells us to partially close our eyes, concentrate on our breathing, and repeat the same word – one or um or ohm or whatever word you want. The word helps to keep us focused, but don’t worry if other thoughts intrude, just acknowledge them and go back to your breath.
- Take a relaxing bath.
Make sure to get enough sleep. It’s difficult to feel calm when you are exhausted.
- Be kind to yourself. Limit your self-judgment. Be at least as nice to yourself as you’d be to a friend.
- Ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to do everything all by yourself.
- Stop trying to multi-task and do one thing at a time. That’s all you can really do anyway.
- Hang out with positive people. Avoid people who make you crazy!
- Unplug as often as you can. You don’t need to be attached to your phone 24/7.
- Know and accept your limits. It’s OK to say no.
- Start a gratitude journal. Focusing on the good in your life helps to reduce stress.
Stress free zone
There you have it. These are just some ideas for getting started with the journey toward optimum health. There is a great deal of wonderful information out there to help you with your commitment to fitness. On RichlyAged.com , we’ve tried to do some of the research for you. Let’s not forget. You are retired and you now have time to be good to you!
As with all journeys, this one begins with a single step and that’s the acceptance of the idea that obtaining optimum health is within your control. You make the decisions about your diet, your fitness and your stress levels. You don’t have to do it all at once.
In fact, it’s much wiser to make a few small changes and then a few more. A few changes practiced consistently toward a better diet and a more active lifestyle will give you big benefits in a short time and lead you to the vibrant and healthy life. Oh and by the way, chill out!