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5 Ways Seniors Can Boost Their Mental Health

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Life is a fast-moving journey. Suddenly, the kids are all grown up; you are retiring from your 20-year career and transitioning to a senior living in Clinton Township. Some may view this as a new and exciting part of their life. But others may struggle in coping with big life changes, affecting their mental health in the process.

If you are one of them, don’t worry because you are not alone. Many seniors have a hard time adjusting to their new situation and dealing with difficult life circumstances. This includes:

  • Perceived loss of self-worth, self-esteem, and social status due to retirement.
  • Isolation and anxiety due to the current pandemic.
  • Financial problems.
  • A chronic health condition resulting in hospitalization or requiring in-home help.
  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Substance abuse

All these factors and more can contribute to the deterioration of one’s mental health. In fact, 25% of older adults already suffer from some kind of mental concern. The most common being depression, dementia, and anxiety disorder.

Despite the sheer number of affected seniors, only a fraction of that number gets diagnosed and treated. Even worse, almost all mental health illnesses in seniors get overlooked by family and healthcare professionals.

Prevent this from happening to you, your loved one, or your senior patient by promoting mental health awareness. Furthermore, encourage the older adults in your life to stay active and healthy to protect their mental well-being. 

Some of the most helpful and scientifically proven ways to do this include the following:

1. Regular Exercise and Healthy Diet

Exercise and a proper diet always go hand in hand, especially if you want to lose weight and stay fit. However, these two healthy activities not only benefit your physical health but can also do extraordinary wonders to your mental state.

According to Harvard Medical School, proper diet and exercise can fight off mental disorders, especially depression. Their study also pointed out that antidepressants can become more effective if paired with these two healthy habits.

This is because staying active and eating healthy have direct benefits to the body and your mental physique. Some of it includes the following:

  • Physical activity triggers the release of your “happy hormones,” which directly improves your mood and promotes positive feelings.
  • Working out helps relieve stress and anxiousness.
  • A healthy diet and regular exercise can boost your cognitive abilities, like memory, reasoning, and learning. Also, both improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Healthy eating (one with a variety of veggies, fruits, fatty fish, and lean meat in it) helps strengthen your brain and fight off mental illnesses.

Moreover, these two healthy habits can ward off neurological disorders, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So, make sure to bring these practices with you in your senior living in Clinton Township.

2. Staying In Touch with Loved Ones

Now that you are retired from the workforce make sure to maximize your free time by spending it with your family and friends. Staying connected with your loved ones, even virtually, has plenty of psychological, social, and emotional benefits that will help put you in the right mental state.

Nothing beats a stressful day more than hearing the laughter of your grandkids, right? Or seeing your fellow seniors and getting your hair done. These simple yet meaningful activities can go a long way in eliciting a happy and positive aura from you.

Now that everyone should be temporarily socially distant from each other, there are still other ways to be emotionally close to your loved ones. This includes keeping in touch through video calls and chat or completing your COVID-19 shots so you can spend time with them face-to-face.

3. Find Your Purpose and Calling

Retiring and having an empty nest can sometimes cause seniors to feel like there’s nothing left for them to do. They can be experiencing a later-life existential crisis, which often leads to depression and social isolation.

Furthermore, seniors can do lots of things in life, which will allow them to make a difference and contribute to society. Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering to a charity, children’s hospital, or in your own senior living in Clinton Township.
  • Pursuing your passion in writing, arts, gardening, or cooking.
  • Engaging in work that makes you feel valued and useful. For example, retired lawyers can give free legal advice to those who need it. Or apply for a part-time job in a local organization that you support.
  • Caring for others, such as a grandkid or a lovable pet dog.

4. Schedule “Me” Time

There are a lot of things that can stress you out or affect your mental health. But regardless of the reason, there’s one thing that can help you de-stress and lift your spirits—doing something you love and enjoy.

It may not be much, but quality leisure time spent doing something enjoyable can take away all your worries and negative thoughts. Appeal to your senses and schedule a “me” time doing what works for you.

Do you enjoy reading a good book? Does binge-watching a favorite Netflix series calm you down? Or maybe spending time with your pet can help you? 

We all have different interests and ways to cope with stress. Some may find relaxation by enjoying a game of puzzles, while others can feel motivated by challenging themselves, such as enrolling in a class. The important thing is to have fun and enjoy your fun “me” time.

5. Talk About Your Feelings More Often and Get Help

You know yourself more than anyone. So when you feel that something’s amiss, the best thing to do is talk about it with someone you trust. It does not have to be a psychiatrist right away; you can open up to a friend, a close relative, or your caregiver in your senior living in Clinton Township.

It is not always easy to get help or talk about something that you don’t even understand yourself. But the surest way to prevent a mental health illness is to open up about what’s happening and what you are feeling.

Written by The Parkdale

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