The poet Audre Lorde once wrote: “Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” Too many people in the post-WWII generation have grown up believing that anything with the word “self” in it equates to selfishness. Taught the values of sacrifice and grit, “suffering in silence,” and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” this whole swath of people, now senior citizens, are often skeptical of the most fundamental self-care routines. The people who care about older adults would like to see self-care normalized and enfolded into their daily practice. At Wickshire Senior Living, we have an entire program devoted to our residents’ self-care routines – the Wise and Well program.
Our goal is to encourage and enable our residents not just to support one another but to support themselves in powerful but simple ways through self-care. Contact us to learn more about our Wise and Well program and how you or your loved one can incorporate a self-care routine. Call 833.497.4390 or, if it’s easier, just fill out our online form.
Self-Care Tips for Seniors
Self-care does not mean a daily massage, weekly pedicures, and eating bon-bons in the jacuzzi. Although it absolutely could. Self-care simply means you take care of yourself. Many people do not realize that simply focusing on healthier foods and going outside every day count as self-care. We know so much more than ever before about the cumulative and profound benefits of seemingly minor actions that you can take quite easily.
Here are some helpful self-care tips for seniors that may inspire you to make a few changes.
- Make a plan. Do you ever notice that even when nothing is really on your schedule, you can find that the day is suddenly over, and you wonder where it went? That day is a lost opportunity. Your daily schedule may not have business meetings, PTA meetings, or board meetings on it anymore, but it can still provide a self-care structure that helps you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of each day. Put some of the following self-care tips on your schedule so you don’t forget them.
- Practice mindfulness. Even if you have never meditated in your life, dip your toe into the practice by giving it a try. There are various ways to meditate. There is walking meditation, guided meditation, Zen Buddhist meditation, and more. Use Google or ask the staff at your assisted living residence for information. Other mindfulness practices that are great for seniors include yoga or Qi Gong.
- Breathe. The day-to-day breath most people take is a shallow one. Your brain and body thrive on oxygenated blood, so learning to expand your lungs and diaphragm with air is great for your physical health. Not only that, but a conscious breathing practice can lower your heart rate, reduce anxiety, stop panic in its tracks, provide a boost of physical energy and mental acuity, and build lung capacity for becoming more fit.
- Exercise. The ultimate in self-care, exercise prolongs life by increasing overall health, reducing the risk of injuries, and banishing depression. From cardiovascular health to brain health, exercise does wonders. Just ask the staff in the Wise and Well program at Wickshire Senior Living.
- Engage in the community. The camaraderie of friends and peers, the love of family, and the meaningful purpose provided by community engagement are all pro-health examples of self-care. Do not let yourself become isolated and withdrawn, even if that feels easier. Become a literacy volunteer, host a bridge or mah-jongg party for friends, or attend a community support group about any topic that matters to you.
- Take a class. Our brains need stimulation to stay young and healthy. One way to stimulate your brain is to learn something new. Take advantage of this time of life to continue your education by enrolling in a class, online, locally, or at your senior living residence. Always wanted to paint? Fascinated by Chinese philosophy? Curious about tennis, flower arranging, poetry writing, or anything else you never had a chance to learn? It’s never too late.
- Attend to your spiritual needs. Whether you adhere to any particular religious belief, are a member of a congregation, agnostic, atheist, or a lapsed something, you, like all humans, have a spirit inside you that needs tending. You can attend services, join a prayer group, engage in a spiritually oriented book club, or simply explore your own beliefs with a close group of friends. Expanding this part of yourself is self-care.
Wickshire Senior Living Encourages Self-Care Routines
We understand older adults. This stage of life is our passion, our focus, and our field of expertise. That means our goal, every day, is to provide our residents with exactly what they need to thrive. Wise and Well programming in Oklahoma City’s Wickshire Senior Living is a terrific entrée into the world of self-care.
Don’t know where to start? We can help. Have questions? We can answer them. Reach out today for yourself or on behalf of a loved one to learn more. Just call 833.497.4390 or complete our online form.