Seniors Outreach - January 9, 2019

One of the challenges that we meet in life is the balance between activity and rest. For most of us, this Christmas season, has allowed us to wind down somewhat and have a few days away from our hustle and bustle. Yes, I have heard that even seniors have ‘hustle and bustle’ or can get stressed out from too much activity in their lives. For me, in the past, when I had an extended time off, say one to two weeks, within about two to four days I was extremely sick. In other words, my busyness caught up with me.

Colds, flus, you name it, I had it. And therefore, for most of the remainder of the ‘break’ I was sick and often could do little but rest. As one continued down this path, it seemed as though every year this was repeated. Instead of enjoying the rest and enjoying company or family or the season of the year, I was only resting to get back to some semblance of health.

What to Do? Perhaps maturity does step in and we begin to make some choices which do not keep us so overly busy and focused on difficulties and worry. In so doing, when the ‘break’ comes round again, maybe we are not as susceptible to illness and really do have some rest times and enjoyment times.

Maybe there really is something to having at least one day of rest per week so that our bodies do not have the added stress of a 24/7/365 focus on difficulties and activities that keep our minds and physical engagement running at top speed.

I found it extremely encouraging to hear about a number of folks, in my circle of friends, who had a quiet and laid back Christmas season this year. The need to find a good balance throughout the year, even as seniors, allows us to put less stress on ourselves and to truly begin to operate as ‘whole’ people again.

Do You Live to Work or Work to Live? This article (a five minute read) discusses the consumed workaholic versus one who has achieved a life and work balance. In reading it, my interest was piqued by a question that stirred in my mind: If I struggled with this balancing and failed as a younger person, what do I continue to do as I enter the senior years that keeps this high stress going? And if so, how do I get off of this stressed treadmill and find my balance in life? [Source: https://www.jodymichael.com/blog/live-work-work-live/ ]

Perhaps some highlights from an article by Kevin McClarren (2016) called

Five Tips for Finding Balance in the Senior Years may help.

Reaching our senior years often means new challenges to face in health, finances, etc. Focusing on the positive side of life and factors that can be controlled help prevent unnecessary stress.

1. Establish a Routine - Seniors who live according to a routine can quickly identify where their time is being wasted so they can shift their focus to the things that bring them joy.

2. Plan for Relaxation - When stress levels begin to rise, it is important to indulge in a little pampering. For example, the soothing touch of a manicure after a doctor’s appointment can give one something to look forward to. Listening to music, reading a book, and even daydreaming in a favorite chair can be just as essential as eating healthy and exercising.

3. Eliminate Clutter - People often think of clutter as physical objects, but clutter can also be an overfilled schedule or negative thoughts that cloud your mind. One of the keys to living a balanced life is learning when to cut out the extra things that are causing stress. Donating furniture and clothing that is no longer needed helps reduce physical clutter, but you can also find other ways to simplify your life, such as making arrangements for someone else to do the cooking, cleaning, or other chores.

4. Set Personal Health Goals - Maintaining physical health can go a long way toward creating a balanced life, and one can work with friends/family or a professional caregiver to find ways to boost his or her wellbeing. For instance, one may want to train for a marathon or receive timely medication reminders each day. In any case, a healthy body is an asset throughout the senior years.

5. Schedule Time to Socialize - Seniors who are isolated often feel imbalanced, but spending time with others can relieve stress and provide new opportunities to expand their minds. Whether you enjoy a daily chat on the phone or prefer to eat lunch with a companion, socializing should be a priority when seeking balance. [Source: http://www.homecareassistancesummit.com/how-can-elderly-find-balance-in-life]

Happy balancing of our lives!

Seniors Outreach offices are open once again unless otherwise posted.

• Main office 128 – 3 Ave SE, Three Hills open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays

• Trochu Office open Tuesdays and Wednesdays

• Torrington Office hours on Thursdays (by appointment only)

• Carbon Office hours on Tuesday mornings

• Acme Office hours on Thursday mornings

• Linden Office hours on Thursday afternoons

Call: 403-443-2555 (1-888-443-2555 from Carbon) to book an appointment

• Potluck Lunch (12:00 p.m.) Tuesday, January 15 -Three Hills Drop In Centre

BUS TRIPS: Wednesday, January 16 - Red Deer Trip. Friday. January 18 – Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Open Rehearsal.

Monthly Information Meetings (1 hour): Thursday, January 17 – “Greensleeves” by PCN nurse

• 10:00 a.m. CommUnity Drop In Centre, Three Hills

• 2:00 p.m. Silver Willows Centre, Torrington