Your mental health journey as a young adult was likely quite different from the one you now face. As an older adult, you may experience mental health concerns unique to this period of your life, such as depression, anxiety, and isolation. Thankfully, there are various ways to navigate these mental health challenges and any others that arise!
1. Increase Your Energy
The older we get, the more our energy levels are affected. We don’t feel as energetic as we once were, which can lead to us not doing as much as we once did. That lack of activity can negatively affect our minds.
Boosting your energy levels helps you stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can increase your energy levels later in life by:
- Getting outdoors often;
- Prioritizing eight hours of sleep each night;
- Making a conscious effort to engage in physical activity every day;
- Doing activities that stimulate your mind, such as puzzles or learning a new language.
Physical activities can help boost your energy levels and immune system. Although you may tire more quickly from exercise, it’s still worth it to strengthen your body and mind. Along with other healthy practices, such as getting enough vitamin D and avoiding alcohol, you can maximize your body’s potential as you age.
2. Fuel Your Body
What you put in your body affects your mental and emotional health. An unhealthy diet full of fats, sugars, and processed foods doesn’t contribute to a healthy mind — but a nutritious, balanced diet does.
Fueling your body with fruits, vegetables, proteins, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, and other whole foods is critical for boosting mental health. When your body gets the nutrients it needs, your ability to focus, stabilize your mood, and look at things from a positive perspective improves.
3. Explore Various Therapy Options
One in four older adults experiences mental health issues. The number of older adults affected is expected to double by 2030 due to the rising life expectancy. If you struggle with depression or other mental health issues, you aren’t alone, although sometimes it may feel like that. There are also options if you feel that you need additional support to navigate what you’re going through.
Therapy can give you that extra layer of support and keep you on track to better mental health. See what your insurance, such as Medicare, covers for mental health services first to ensure you choose an option you can afford or that’s covered entirely.
In-person individual and group therapy are great options. If you have mobility issues, lack transportation, or aren’t yet comfortable with meeting a therapist in person, you can try virtual therapy. It’s a convenient, affordable therapy option that allows you to get the care you need from the comfort of your home. Therapy can also help you get to know yourself in this new stage of life.
4. Get To Know Yourself
One of the hardest parts about getting older is realizing that you can’t do many things you used to do when you were younger. As a result, you can start feeling anxious and depressed as a senior. Often, this can lead you to feel like a burden on others and guilty about asking for help. Further, it can make you doubt your ability to care for yourself. This is all understandable because losing past freedoms can be scary and debilitating and leave you feeling helpless and ashamed.
However, you can reintroduce yourself to you. Rediscover who you are and what you need to live a meaningful life at this age. Even if you can’t do some things you used to do, there are still many things you can do if you’re open to them. Think of hobbies you could explore, clubs you could join, or people you could reach out to. Define your values and reflect on how much you’ve learned about yourself. Take back your power.
5. Don’t Isolate
One of the worst things older adults can do for their mental health is to isolate themselves. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into isolation as a senior. Your children may have moved out and become focused on their own lives. You may have lost your spouse and friends. Decreased mobility can also make it hard to get out there and do things.
It may take a significant effort, but you mustn’t isolate yourself. Keep your mind, spirit, and emotional well-being intact by staying connected to your friends and family. Do some volunteer work. Attend as many social events as possible to ensure you’re surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who can uplift you. If you’re living with decreased mobility, engage in social activities with others who understand your need for mobile aid.
6. Take On Something New
Taking on something new stimulates the mind and helps build self-esteem, which is beneficial in improving your mental health. It helps you grow your skill set and find more opportunities to do things that align with the values you just identified.
Make a list of activities, tasks, and projects you’ve always wanted to do. Prioritize them by your level of interest. Consider how long it will take to accomplish them and what’s involved in doing so. Then, choose one to start with and see where things go. You can often find new groups of like-minded individuals by seeking out activities you enjoy.
Your mental health is just as important to nurture when you’re older as it is when you’re younger. Use the tips above to ensure you’re doing all you can to boost your mental health as you age.
About the Author: Dan Matthews is a writer, content consultant, and conservationist. While Dan writes on a variety of topics, he loves to focus on issues that look inward on humanity, and that help make the surrounding world a better place to reside. When Dan isn’t working on new content, you can find him with a coffee cup in one hand while searching for new music with the other.
Image Source: Pixabay
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
Recommended for You
- How I Overcame Body Dysmorphia and Rediscovered Myself - October 2, 2023
- EMDR: A Powerful New Weapon in the Fight Against Substance Use Disorder - September 28, 2023
- Healthy Aging: Strategies to Maintain Mental Well-being in Later Life - September 26, 2023