02 May Relaxation is a Key Part of the Independent Living Lifestyle
One of the keys to a healthy life is relaxation
Two of our recent blog posts have explored the ways that our independent living and assisted living residents can keep their brains young by putting the first two AARP Pillars of Brain Health—Move and Discover—to work in their own lives. Now, we focus on the third pillar: Relax.
Relax With Yoga, Walking and other Recreation Activities
“A lot of us think of relaxing as a physical thing, but your brain needs to chill out, too,” states AARP. “Yoga, meditation, or a walk around the block all can help you get a good night’s rest.”
Fortunately, it’s easy for Southgate at Shrewsbury residents to take part in relaxing activities like these. Our beautiful campus sets us apart from many other retirement communities in the area, and now that spring is here, there’s even more reason to head outside for a stroll. You can see what flowers are blooming this week and maintain the health of your body and brain all at the same time.
The yoga classes here at Southgate at Shrewsbury are immensely popular with our independent living residents. So even if you haven’t tried yoga before, you’ll find a strong support system to help you learn the basics. Once you’ve taken a few classes, it will be clear that not only is yoga a great way to improve your physical health, it’s a great way to make new friends.
In addition to yoga, our independent living residents can choose from a wide variety of relaxing recreation activities. Popular choices include Tai Chi and Mellow Movement. You can find the full schedule on our residents’ website.
More Ways to Relax
Although everyone has a different ability to participate in physical recreation activities, there are plenty of relaxation techniques that are appropriate for people of all ages, from young children to seniors and everyone in between. Here are two techniques that you can try in the comfort of your own room:
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist and author of the book “The Key To Calm” offered her advice for mindfulness and relaxation to the readers of WebMD.
“Turn off your screen, choose a common object like a pencil or a penny (not your phone) and begin breathing very slowly focusing on the object and describing it to yourself in as much detail as you can,” she said. “To focus completely and fully on something in the present is the essence of mindfulness.”
Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
First, make sure you are in a comfortable setting and take a few minutes to focus on deep breathing. Next, start focusing on the muscles in one of your feet and begin slowly tensing the muscles and holding them that way for the count of 10. Then, relax those muscles and focus on how they feel in their relaxed state. You can repeat this tensing and relaxation process several times, until you feel that the muscles are completely relaxed.
Repeat the process with your other foot, and then move upwards to your lower leg muscles. After you repeat the process with the remaining muscles in your body, you will find that you are completely relaxed and ready to either have a good night’s sleep or tackle the rest of your day in a calm and relaxed state of mind.
These relaxation techniques can be especially useful for people in our assisted living and independent living communities who may have limited mobility. Even if you are an active participant in our health and wellness programs, however, you can benefit from being more mindful and relaxed. Take some time to give one of these techniques a try today and see how great you’ll feel.