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Mental Health Tips for the Elderly

There is a lot that a person can do in order to maintain their wellbeing and mental health. Many people prioritize their physical health and forget about their mental health, which should not be the case. Your physical health will have an effect on your mental health and vice versa.

Below are some tips that will help in maintaining good mental health...

  1. Eat Well: Eating well has been shown to help in maintaining positive mental health. Choose healthy whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Consuming foods with sugar will give a sugar rush. then you start feeling tired when it subsides. When you eat healthy foods, it is slowly absorbed and this means you don’t have mood swings.
  2. Get Enough Sleep: It is important to get enough sleep, especially with older people as their sleeping needs change. With age, people become light sleepers, and this means more time is needed to get adequate rest. Getting enough sleep will improve memory formation, concentrations, and restoration of cell damage; this generally means refreshing the immune system of your body.
  3. Regular Exercises: Exercise has been shown to have many benefits, with improving mood and emotional well-being at the top of the list. This will help in preventing mental health issues. Your overall physical health will also improve.
  4. Maintaining Relationships: The backbone of good mental health is good relationships. It is known to be the biggest contributor to happiness and wellbeing. This can be family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. These relationships will provide a great support system that will help in coping with stressors. One method of de-stressing that works is sharing your feelings with others.
  5. Spend some time on relaxing and enjoyable activities: One part that the culture has overlooked is the importance of hobbies. Taking up fun hobbies like art classes, sports, gardening, and much more is a good idea because it can become a source of contentment and satisfaction. With age, you get more time on your hands, and you might end up feeling lonely, but hobbies can turn the days into enjoyment time.
  6. Spirituality or religion: Many people tend to turn more and more religious with age. This will provide the perfect opportunity to socialize and interact with other people in the community at times of satsangs and poojas. There has been a link between improved wellbeing and being part of a religious or spiritual practice.
  7. Turn to Technology to Stay in Touch: Sending messages, emails, photos to friends and family can be a regular routine as an elderly person. Staying in touch using social media platforms such as Facebook can help in preventing social isolation for the elderly, especially when their relatives live far from where they are.
  8. Create Flow: Flow can be described as a unique state of being where a person engrossed in an activity if interest where they have a sense of contentment and can spend more time doing it. A better sense of contentment will be achieved when the challenge in the activity is not too difficult or too easy. A person can reach this state when doing any activity, for example, gardening, badminton, chess, and painting.
  9. Develop Gratitude: One proved way of boosting positivity and increasing level of happiness is gratitude. This can be easily done, just keep track of the things you feel blessed to have. You will need to notice and acknowledge the small things. You can have a gratitude journal, or even a gratitude jar (this s where you can put chits the things making your happy each day) so you can remember to feel gratitude regularly.
  10. Give to other: Small acts of kindness will give you the feeling of self-worth and happiness. It will help in canceling out the negative feelings you might be having about yourself and you will start feeling contented. You can take part in the community, donate to a given cause, or even volunteer. You will be helping the society and your mental well-being at the same time.
  11. Go Back to School: Another way to improve your mental health is keeping your brain challenged by going to school. Retirement will provide you the perfect time to pick up topics you might not have had enough time to study in the past. This can be a new language, computer class, pottery, etc., and you will end up being busy learning.
  12. Get a Pet: Pets have been shown to make older people more socially engaged. They are also more likely to improve well-being and satisfaction.
  13. Play Games: Games, cards, puzzles, etc., are fun activities that seniors can take part in. Taking part in these activities can help improve socialization. Getting to play these games with family or even alone can lead you to feel that the day was fruitful.
  14. Take Control of Your Health: Mental and physical health is directly related, and this is why maintenance of physical health is important when trying to maintain mental health. You need to make healthy life choices, spend some time exercising, and going to the doctor regularly so you can reach this goal. It is never too late to take good care of your health.
  15. Home care: Being cared for at home with a home care service can make all the difference and ensure a happier life and better mental health.

Following the above tips will help in coping and leading a happier and fulfilling life. However, you need to remember that further help is often needed. If you start noticing less ability to cope and hopelessness is starting to come up, you should look for professional help. Talk to your doctor so he/she can refer you to a good psychologist or psychiatrist who will be able to help you out.

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