Relaxation Day: 3 Ways Seniors Can Unwind

Grandmother with two granddaughters at picnic in park

Mark your calendars now: Relaxation Day is on the 15th of this month, and we all deserve some time to unwind. Especially our beloved seniors who have worked hard all their lives to provide for their families! Relaxation Day is a great opportunity to kick back and relax with your senior loved ones and show them you appreciate all they have accomplished. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some relaxation techniques and activities for seniors provided by our assisted living team in Ocean City, NJ.

#1 – Meditation and deep breathing

Have you ever felt the need to stop, sit, and just simply be, even if it’s just a few minutes? That’s meditation! There’s nothing too mysterious about it. In fact, the benefits are scientifically proven, with Harvard researchers showing that it reduces stress, clarifies the thought process, lowers blood pressure, and even improves empathy.

There are lots of ways to learn how to meditate, and it’s all about finding your personal preference. Some people like to sit outside under a tree, others like to focus on a candle flame, or listen to soft, gentle music. You can even use an app like Headspace or Insight Timer. 

Here are the basics:

  • Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Sit comfortably, stacking your head above your neck, letting your shoulders draw backward and down. Use a cushion or sit in a chair if that helps.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Try to be present. Be aware of what’s happening right now – sounds, smells, thoughts, and sensations in the body. Don’t let yourself drift off, and try to just pay attention to the moment instead.
  • It’s natural to get caught up in distractions, so try to keep your focus on your breath, breathing in and out at a slow, steady pace.
  • Don’t give up, and be kind to yourself each time you drift off – it takes a lot of practice!
  • Try to meditate for 10-20 minutes at a time, once a day.

#2 – Scents and sensations

Our environment can greatly affect how calm or agitated we are, so try and include calming elements in your home. It’s a good idea to start this project a while before Relaxation Day (and rope in some family and friends) so you can enjoy the results! 

Think about things like:

  • Aromatherapy – Scented candles and diffusers with soft, natural essential oils like lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, and orange blossom. Plan a lovely long soak in the tub with some luxurious, scented bath bombs and pamper yourself!
  • Color – Calming colors like warm greys and pale browns, soft blues and greens, off-whites, and soft pinks are cozy, welcoming, and calming. Treat your home as if it’s a spa or luxury hotel, and plan a makeover to create the perfect calming space!
  • Textures – If you are redoing your décor, think about choosing soft, warm textures rather than those that are very bold, bright, or dominating. Natural fabrics and materials are a wonderful choice that makes us feel calm and relaxed as if we’re out in nature.
  • Cleanouts – Clutter in the home can be incredibly stressful, making you feel claustrophobic, making it difficult to find things when you need them, and making a fall pretty likely! Get some help and plan a clean-out. Hold onto the things you love, replace the things that no longer work for you, and refresh your home to make it more functional, more open, and more relaxing to be in. Sit back, relax, and let the kids do the heavy lifting!

#3 – Get nurtured by nature

Reestablishing our connection to nature is an important way to get back to our roots, enjoy the blessings of our lives, and relax. Just remember to pack the sunscreen and a big floppy hat! 

Here are some ways to celebrate Relaxation Day in the great outdoors:

  • Picnic – Plan a picnic in the park with your loved ones where the grandkids can run and play, you can share great food, and relax under the arms of a tree. 
  • Nature walk – Take a gentle stroll through nature at a reserve, on a farm, or by a lake. It’s a great activity for all ages and can be combined with feeding the animals, fishing, picnicking, picking berries, or visiting a market.
  • A family-friendly escape – Relaxation Day is also a great time to go off the beaten track and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re an independent senior, this could be the perfect opportunity to bond with the grandkids at a cabin, visit a nature resort, tour a national wildlife park, or even go camping.

UMC at The Shores is a leading assisted living community in Cape May County, offering seniors of all ages a full and independent way of life. Contact us today to find out more about our services, or visit our website at 

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