Here’s How You Can Improve Your Mental Health As You Grow Older
According to the CDC or the Centers for Disease Control, 20% of seniors 55 years of age and above go through some mental health concern. The most common conditions are depression, bipolar depression, anxiety, and severe cognitive impairment.
All these issues can hurt the physical health as well as overall wellness of the aged. Though mental health conditions happen to increase with age, depression and other illnesses are not normal as you age. However, there are some effective ways to improve your mental health as you grow older. Check them out.
Play Brain Games
To stay healthy, you need to stay physically active and stimulate your body. Similarly, you also need to stimulate your brain to prevent cognitive decline as you grow older. Harvard Health Publishing states that mind games help sharpen your thinking skills. That includes your decision-making skills, reaction time, planning skills, and processing speed.
Any activity that keeps your brain active and helps it work towards understanding and solving problems is beneficial for brain health. Some of the activities you can engage in are reading and writing, learning a new language, playing puzzles and games, playing a musical instrument, etc.
Engage in Physical Activities
Exercising and indulging in any physical activity is beneficial for your body and mind. You can take regular walks, attend yoga classes, enjoy ballroom dancing, etc. These activities will boost your confidence as well as cut down the risk of falls. Being active and exercising is good for your mental health as you age.
Irrespective of any stage of life you are in, physical activities would highly benefit your overall wellness. Seniors can stay healthy through stretching and strength training. Such low-impact exercises alleviate the risk of joint pain, bone fractures, and various other chronic illnesses. Aside from the physical benefits, exercising can go a long way in managing depression, anxiety, and stress in the aged. Exercise can also bring positivity to a senior’s life.
Connect with Friends
Maintaining close relationships with old friends can be somewhat difficult due to time and distance. It’s common to feel lonely in old age. Isolation can cause depression and both physical and mental decline. So, staying connected with those who matter in your lives becomes all the more important.
You can meet your close friends virtually over Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. If you don’t know how to operate them, you can use online tutorials or ask willing people to teach you. You can also make phone calls or write letters.
Engage in a New Hobby
Retirement is a period when an individual needs to stay physically and mentally active. You must have your list of personal interests that you always wanted to pursue, but a hectic lifestyle is never allowed to do so. After you take retirement, you have all the time in the world to tick off all your goals from your bucket list, be it pursuing a musical career, painting, cooking, sewing, anything.
Volunteering for many is something very fulfilling. Volunteering yourself after retirement is a good way to keep yourself engaged and do something for your society. There are several charitable organizations as well as causes that need support. Seniors can get involved with them. Volunteering for a cause can be rewarding, whichever age you are.
Volunteering can be beneficial as it can boost an aged individual’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. You can volunteer yourself in a school, a local hospital, a food pantry, etc., to stay socially engaged and keep yourself active. This way, you can also become an integral part of a vibrant community.
Taking Care of Pets
Pets can be good companions and can keep you engaged. Their unconditional love wouldn’t make you feel lonely throughout the day. When you develop a strong bond with your pet, you will automatically stay fit, and experience decreased stress levels. Having a pet would also lower your blood pressure, give you more opportunities to socialize, etc.
Staying mentally and physically active is important as you grow older. That will not only help you alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression but also improve your cognitive abilities. You can also find a peer group that shares your interests to make sure you do not give up.
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