Many seniors have dedicated their life to the care of others. After years of putting the needs of others first, taking care of themselves first can feel wrong; however, self-care is essential for all aspects of life, including mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve your own health, well-being, and happiness. It allows you to recharge and refuel to be able to better share what you have to offer with others.

The idea of self-care has been conflated to a selfish idea, and that we need to take hours out of our day just to care for ourselves. And while, there’s nothing wrong with taking a full day for yourself, taking time for yourself does not need to be something new to add stress to accomplish!

Keep reading to learn about some easy self-care ideas that are perfect for the seniors in your life to try today:

1. Spend More Time in Nature – Getting outside and breathing fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin while listening to the birds, watching the squirrels collect acorns, or just smelling the trees can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones.

2. Reconnect with Old Hobbies or Start a New One – Making time for relaxation can be a great way to keep away stress! There are many hobbies seniors, and their caregivers can enjoy together.

3. Make Plans With Loved Ones – Loneliness can affect us all. Start making plans with those who live nearby to enjoy dinner or a movie together or connect with those who live far away virtually through online platforms like Skype, Zoom, or Facetime.

4. Eat Healthy – A healthy diet gives you the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. Good nutrition is linked to positive physical and emotional health.

5. Exercise Regularly – Many think that they’re too old or out of shape to start exercising, but exercise is beneficial for everyone! Exercising helps make you stronger, improve your balance and reduce the risk of falls, and helps boost your mood. Walking, yoga or swimming are all great gentle exercises for seniors.

6. Hydrate – Staying hydrated helps our body regulate and do its job. Seniors are at a greater risk for dehydration than other groups. As you age, your body’s ability to signal thirst weakens, and it can be more difficult for seniors to realize they’re dehydrated. Everyone should aim for at least 6-8 glasses of water per day.

7. Get Enough Sleep – Seniors tend to sleep less deeply and wake up more frequently which makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Following a regular nighttime regime and sleep schedule in addition to regular exercise can help you sleep better at night.

8. Positive Affirmations – Daily affirmations help us foster a positive relationship with ourselves. Self-care is not just about physical acts we can do, but also deals with the way we talk to and think about ourselves, our worth and value, as well as our self-confidence and respect.

9. Start a Gratitude Journal – It’s easy to get pessimistic. A gratitude journal is a great way to ward off these negative thoughts. There will always be things out of our control, but it’s important to always find something to be thankful for. Keeping a notebook and writing 3-5 things you’re grateful for every day can be a great reminder of this.

10. Make Time to Relax – Self-care requires you to take a step back and refill your cup. We cannot pour from an empty cup. Relaxing lets you clear your head and reset your priorities.

When we focus only on the needs of others and not ourselves, we lose track of who we are and what our priorities are. This can lead to feelings of discontentment, unfulfillment, and lack of purpose. You can’t adequately care for others without also taking care of yourself. For seniors leaving the caregiving time in their life, this transition can be difficult. Self-care is a beneficial way to enjoy and prosper in their golden years.

While self-care for the elderly is important, sometimes seniors may need more practical help. If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 803-215-1019 or email us at info@longtermliaisons.com to learn more about the personalized care options that can be planned with them. We’ll be happy to assist!