ON A DARK morning in a senior living community like Spring Gardens in Mapleton, it can be so easy to slap the snooze button many times rather than starting your day, but we have a few tips for how seniors can improve their AM routines in senior living and be better prepared to seize the day!
Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day in Senior Care?
The correct answer is that it depends on you! The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is a leftover marketing ploy from many decades ago, before which most people might grab some toast or a coffee before work but having what we think of as a “complete” breakfast was rare.
Whether or not you eat a big breakfast — or any breakfast — in senior living is up to you. If you do choose to make breakfast part of your day, we recommend a nutritious breakfast. Something like a green smoothie or a berry smoothie bowl, avocado toast or a veggie breakfast skillet would be a great way to begin your day!
1. Relax and Refocus With Morning Meditation
The idea of meditation might conjure an image of exotic gurus and week-long nature retreats, but meditation in senior living can be as simple as taking slow, deep breaths while thinking of things in your life that you’re thankful for.
Meditation has been shown to be an effective stress-reduction method, and it can also help decrease pain, anxiety, and depression. Even better and most importantly for senior living residents is that it can improve memory. Starting your day out with a 10-minute mindfulness walk, focusing on each footstep, is a great way to introduce meditation into your routine.
2. Record Your Thoughts in a Journal
You don’t have to be a writer or a novelist to write down your thoughts in a daily journal. Journaling comes with a lot of benefits you might not expect, up to and including boosting your immune system. When you sit down to write in your journal in the morning, it can help you organize the rest of your day, make plans, set goals, or even just keep a record of your life story for your family to enjoy one day.
3. Try to Wake Up at the Same Time Each Day
Back to that snooze button we discussed before, waking up at different times every day can make it much harder to get going than if we can maintain a similar routine with our sleep schedules. When we wake up at the same time every day, it can help improve our focus, decrease irritability, and, over time, make it easier to wake up and fall asleep. It can also improve short-term memory, which is an especially important benefit in senior care.
Choose a wake-up time that you feel confident you can stick to on weekdays and weekends. You might need an alarm clock to help at first, but in time, your body will adjust and it will become easier to wake up at the right time on your own. Adding some natural light in the morning can really help, because our bodies are programmed to be awake when the sun is up. Make sure a little sun can get in to help you get up!
4. Exercise Will Really Help You Jump Start Your Day
There are days when exercising feels like the last thing you want to do, maybe especially when you’ve just woken up, but research indicates that getting active in the morning has a lot of potential health benefits.
Getting your arms and legs moving triggers the release of neurotransmitters in your brain like endorphins and dopamine that will leave you feeling energized and refreshed — even if you haven’t had any coffee yet. It doesn’t take running a marathon to get these benefits. A workout as simple as doing a few light stretches will already improve blood flow, decrease stiffness, and help you prepare to take on the rest of your day.
5. Enjoy Your Senior Living Mornings in Mapleton
At Spring Gardens in Mapleton, we’re dedicated to helping all of our residents with their daily senior living needs and achieving the best possible quality of life, and that includes helping them start their day out right. You can learn more about our community on our business page, and make sure to check the map for directions before you come to visit!