Tips for reducing stress as you age

Woman meditates in a field after learning stress tips

As we get older, there are many possible causes of stress, including worry about loved ones and concerns about finances. It’s a good idea to be aware of stress and take action to deal with those feelings when they arise. Let’s talk more about the importance of stress awareness and how to manage your stress. 

Why is stress awareness important?

Stress can cause long-term health problems, including cardiovascular disease and decreased immune function. Being aware of and addressing stress when it first arises can help you avoid those health concerns later. Tension headaches, back pain, irritability and heart palpitations can be signs that you’re experiencing stress. Use the tips below to take action when you first notice these symptoms.

1. Manage your mind

Stress starts in the mind, so it makes sense to address your mental state when managing stress. On your own, it can be a good idea to try meditation and journaling. Meditation has been proven to improve how seniors rate their mental health and can be as easy as sitting in your favorite chair with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing. This practice grounds you in the current moment instead of worrying about the future. 

It can also be beneficial to write down and analyze your thoughts in a journal. One study suggested that people who journaled about stressful events were able to find more positive aspects of the event. You can also try making a list of all the things you’ve accomplished rather than focusing on the things you have yet to do. 

And you don’t have to handle stress alone! You can seek support from a mental health professional like a therapist, coach or counselor. There may also be local resources like the National Alliance on Mental Illness in North or South Carolina. If you need help finding local mental health resources, give our ApexAssistants a call at (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711).

2. Take charge of your body

You can also manage stress by staying active every day. Walking or exercising outside can be beneficial since spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety. At least 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day can also lower blood pressure. You can even try a relaxing exercise, like yoga or tai chi, to feel more at peace by relaxing your muscles.

To take advantage of the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, ApexHealth offers fitness benefits, including:

  • Access to local fitness centers and YMCAs
  • Online workout classes
  • Wearable fitness trackers
  • Exercise kits for activities like Pilates, swimming and strength

3. Use wellness benefits offered by your Medicare Advantage plan

Medicare Advantage plans like ApexHealth offer all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus supplemental benefits. In addition to fitness opportunities listed above, ApexHealth offers other ApexExtras that can reduce stress. These include chiropractic and acupuncture care. 

We also offer mental health benefits to help our members manage specific issues like alcohol misuse. Stress can sometimes lead to an increase in alcohol consumption. If you feel affected by alcohol misuse, you can take a simple screening to learn if you may benefit from face-to-face counseling sessions. If so, we’ll help you get started with a primary care provider or practitioner who can help. There will be no copay or deductible for treatment. 

We hope that these tips can help you take charge of your stress. If you need help finding stress management resources in your area, call (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to speak with our ApexAssistants. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31.

**The information presented is accurate as of April 17, 2023 and may change at a future date.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *