How Self-Care Can Help Individuals With Hearing Loss
Curious how self-care can help individuals with hearing loss? As we live in a fast-paced world where everyone is rushing from work, to appointments, to kids’ extracurriculars, and some days the hustle and bustle is so hectic that when we finally sit down at the end of the day, we realize we forgot to eat or even drink water.
Often we are so busy we can’t even take a few minutes to simply breathe and let go of some of the stressors and daily load. Essentially, we often forget to “schedule” some self-care, and it’s the first thing to go when we are running out of time.
Self-care does not mean practicing self-indulgence or forsaking others for your own selfish needs; it is about incorporating time and effort into your own life to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but it is about managing stressors and staying healthy in all aspects of your life. It’s about balanced nutrition, hygiene, staying hydrated, getting active, practicing good sleep hygiene, and participating in your preferred activities to unplug and unwind.
As July 24th is International Self-Care day, we’ve put together a guide discussing everything self-care; what it is, how you can practice it, and how it can help you or your loved ones who may be experiencing hearing loss.
Like the airlines always say, put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. If you tend to your own needs, you’ll be much more energized, relaxed, happy, and healthy to give your best self to those around you.
Benefits of Self-Care For Mental and Physical Health
The idea behind self-care is to help you stay well physically, emotionally, and mentally so you don’t burn out.
Some benefits of self-care include:
- Reduced stress and better ways to help manage it
- Improved mood and patience
- Personal and professional growth and sense of accomplishment with set and achieved goals
- Healthy relationships with yourself, family, friends, and colleagues
- Greater health and prevention of illness and disease down the road, leading to a longer, fuller, healthier life.
If self-care seems overwhelming to you, start small. Pick a few goals to begin with and add on from there. Maybe week one, you strive to drink more water. Perhaps in week two, you continue with your water goals and add 30 minutes of walking to your evening routine. Once you make this practice intentional, it will come naturally.
Not all self-care means self-regulation. Some require the help of outside sources and medical professionals. This means booking your dental check-ups, going for the occasional massage, checking ailments checked out and routine screenings completed, including a yearly hearing test.
Importance of Getting an Annual Hearing Test
It’s no secret that our health is the most valuable resource we have. It takes some work to stay healthy and prevent chances of illness, disease, and deterioration.
One way we can help you stay healthy at Hearing Solutions is to conduct an annual hearing test to assess for function. Why is this important? Some advantages include:
- Establishing a hearing health baseline: Even if you don’t have any current hearing loss or concerns, it is important to assess where you are in terms of capacity and function. This helps us create a baseline to use as a comparison each year and see what has changed and how.
- Track hearing health: Each year, we will repeat the tests and track any changes to your hearing health. We will use your baseline, compare results, check for any divergence from the starting point, and investigate any changes.
- Early detection: Our test will allow us to use your baseline and changes to detect issues, provide early intervention, and prevent further damage to the ear and your hearing.
- Provide Treatment: Our test will detect any current concerns you may not know you are dealing with and allow us to provide treatment.
This may mean detecting levels of hearing loss and intervening early with hearing aids to protect against further loss and improve the quality of your life.
5 Ways Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Life
Hearing aids can not only restore your ability to immerse yourself in the world around you, but it also:
1. Improve your social life
Your ability to hear friends and family will encourage you to continue with social gatherings, public outings and foster positive relationships with those around you.
Those who cannot hear, and do not do something about it, tend to withdraw socially, which can lead to isolation and depression.
2. Reduce the risk of depression
Research tells us that hearing loss and depression are linked as people start to experience a loss of relationships as they fail to participate fully in conversation and shared activities. Hearing aids take the guesswork out of conversations and allow for easier interaction.
3. Improved brain functions
Your brain plays an important role in sound and speech recognition and processing. When you suffer from hearing loss, your brain has to work overtime trying to make sense of the sounds, reducing its ability to handle other cognitive tasks.
Hearing aids help reduce the cognitive load, reduce the chances of dementia, and actually help improve memory and mental acuity.
4. Reduce stress and improve mood.
Hearing loss doesn’t just reduce the sounds of speech, it also limits your ability to enjoy the calming sounds of a favourite album, the chirping of the birds at your window, and the lull of the waves oceanside.
Improving hearing health helps restore those tranquil sounds and allows for increased relaxation and general life enjoyment.
5. Alleviate tinnitus
If you have suffered from the constant buzzing or ringing of the ears, hearing aids can help. Certain models have tinnitus sound therapy programs embedded in their functions.
Self-Care Tips For People With Hearing Loss
So now that you know a little bit more about self-care, how do you best practice it when suffering from hearing loss?
Get yourself checked by a professional
If you notice your hearing isn’t what it was, if you are missing chunks of conversation, or routinely ask others to repeat themselves for clarification, it’s time to get in and get treatment. Book a hearing assessment and invest in your health and future; invest in hearing aids.
Remember to Unplug
After a long stretch of hearing loss, living with hearing aids can seem loud and boisterous. Remember to take time for yourself to unplug (literally or figuratively) and enjoy some quiet time to yourself.
This will prevent overstimulation and decrease your cognitive load. It will also help manage stress and improve peace.
Focus on Your Health
Hearing loss can seem overwhelming and cause problems in activities of daily living. Remember to engage in self-care practices focusing on maintaining good habits for your diet, sleep, safe exercise, social engagement, and balance.
By improving all areas of your health and wellness, your routine will become second nature, and you can allow yourself more grace and better patience to manage your hearing loss.
The Benefits of Hearing Aids and Self-Care
If you are ready to engage in some self-care and want to start with your hearing health, we are here to help. At Hearing Solutions we offer free hearing tests, sound advice, and a catalogue of innovative solutions to help improve the quality of your life. What are you waiting for?
If you’re in need of a new hearing device or want to get a free hearing health assessment, get in touch with Hearing Solutions. We provide free online hearing tests, and you can easily book an appointment by contacting a Hearing Solutions representative either online or by dialing 1-888-811-9799.
Scott, E., PhD (2023, February 13). 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life. Verywell Mind. Retrieved June 13, 2023, from https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729
VCU (2023, January 3). 7 Types of Self-Care and Why You Should Practice Them. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. Retrieved June 13, 2023, from https://onlinesocialwork.vcu.edu/blog/types-of-self-care/
(2023, July 21). 6 Ways Hearing Aids Improves Mental Health. Hearing Solutions. Retrieved June 13, 2023, from https://www.hearingsolutions.ca/6-ways-hearing-aids-improves-mental-health/