Self-care. You may have heard this term being thrown around on the media, and you may relegate it to a “Millennial” concept. But in these fast times, what’s wrong with taking time to make sure you are taking care of yourself? According to Gracy Obuchowicz, a mentor and coach in Washington DC, self-care “assumes that we’re OK as we are and we just need to take care of ourselves…Self-care alone is not enough. You need to have self-awareness too.”
For those of us with hearing loss, life can be exhausting. Whether you have yet to seek treatment for hearing loss or you are currently using hearing aids, hearing loss requires a lot of care and consideration to manage. Hearing loss extends to all areas of our life: we may miss the morning alarm clock and be late to an important meeting; we may find social gatherings with dear friends difficult to keep up with so we avoid them altogether.
Sometimes, in the rush of everyday life, we may forget to check in with ourselves. Over time, this fatigue could harm our careers and our relationships with loved ones in our lives. Here, we provide a few self-care tips for people with hearing loss to ensure overall health and well-being.
Tip #1: Get Treatment for Hearing Loss
When it comes to hearing loss, seeking treatment is the single most important thing you can do. We all lead busy lives, and in the busy-ness, we find ways to accommodate changes – such as a reduction in our hearing abilities. Leaving hearing loss untreated will bring many adverse consequences over time (from an increased risk for dementia to higher rates of falls and hospitalizations).
If you have noticed changes in your hearing abilities – such as, sounds are quieter than usual, people tend to mumble more, or you find it difficult to follow conversations – contact us at Greentree Audiology. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings. If a hearing loss is detected, our team will work with you to find the best solution to meet your hearing needs.
Tip #2: Find a Relaxation Routine
Most of us are at different places in our journey to better hearing health. If you have just been diagnosed with a hearing loss and are adjusting to hearing aids, be patient with yourself. The adjustment process can be stressful and overwhelming. Our brains may adapt to untreated hearing loss and over time, the neural pathways of our brains will fall into disrepair. With new hearing aids, you will experience access to a larger spectrum of sounds and thus, your brain will need to “re-train” to familiarize itself with these sounds. If you currently use hearing aids for your hearing loss, there may be times in noisy environments when you become overwhelmed.
How do you relax? Some people take power naps, some meditate, some have weekly massages, and some exercise. These activities help relieve stress, give you time to recharge, and increase your energy levels. Depending on your energy and stress levels, establish a routine that helps you relax. Finding a relaxation routine and making it a regular part of your day is an important part of ensuring that you are physically and emotionally healthy.
Tip #3: Take Quiet Time for Yourself
Between text messages, video chats, Facebook, emails, and other social media, it seems like we are in constant contact with others. At the same time, studies have also shown that this modern world is a lot louder than ever before. Our immediate access to videos and shows and other media means that we can fill our spare time with brightly-lit screens and loud sounds through earbuds.
For a good night’s sleep, take some quiet time about an hour before bed where you disconnect from your screens and electronic devices. Read a book to give your eyes a rest from the harmful light of electronics’ screens. Turn off the music and open your window to listen to the sounds of nature in your environment. Studies have shown that reconnecting to the sounds of nature does wonders for your stress levels. Quiet time also helps your brain relax, after the activities of the day that require a lot of cognitive processing.
At Greentree Audiology, we believe that hearing health is connected to overall health. Contact us today for a consultation or to learn more about hearing loss treatments.