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10 Ways to Improve Mental Health and Boost Your Mood

Happy Elderly Couple Holding Hands while Crossing on the Pedestrian Lane

We are living in challenging times. According to a recent AARP study, a significant number of older adults reported feeling an increasing amount of anxiety and depression over the last year or more.  It's more important now than ever to take care of ourselves. Here are 10 ways we can do that.

1. Get Back to a Healthy Routine

Having a daily routine can boost your mood and reduce stress. When you aren't feeling like yourself, your daily routine tends to be thrown off, and vice versa! Start your day with small things like washing your face in the morning, brushing and flossing your teeth, taking a bath or a shower, and putting on an outfit that makes you feel good. Little habits like these set a good foundation and help you handle other tasks throughout the day.

2. Set Attainable Goals

If you're feeling down, you might find yourself falling behind on the tasks on your to-do list, like keeping up with housework. It may seem like common sense, but remind yourself that it's okay to manage your tasks in chunks. Instead of doing everything all at once, start with small tasks. For example, if your kitchen is cluttered, you may load the dishwasher now and come back to wipe down the counters later. Instead of cleaning the entire living room, decide that today is for dusting, and tomorrow for vacuuming or sweeping. Doing a little something is better than doing nothing! You can switch up tasks every so often, and eventually your living space will improve and your to-do list will be less daunting. 

3. Keep Up On Nutrition

At any age, eating right and staying hydrated is a necessity for feeling your best. Getting the nutrients your body needs can help you stay alert and focused, keep you energized, reduce your risk of developing health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, heart-healthy whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein sources like chicken breasts and fish. When you're struggling with any kind of mental health concern, you may find yourself with a lower appetite than usual, and getting the motivation to eat the things you need might be difficult. Taking supplements like a daily multivitamin, along with a natural CBD supplement can be helpful in filling any gaps you might have in your nutrition, and CBD flower may help increase your appetite. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting supplements to be sure they fit with your health goals.

4. Prioritize Exercise and Sunshine

Exercise is important to keep you healthy both mentally and physically, and getting even just 10 minutes of sun exposure every day can help boost your mood immensely. Getting around 30 minutes of exercise a day can help support a healthy heart and immune system, increase bone density and your mobility, and decrease stress. Exercising outdoors helps you to get all of those benefits! Some safe ways for you to exercise outside are walking, doing stretches, and yoga.

5. Music Therapy

Music is an amazing thing. It can make you feel calm and relaxed, or it can make you excited, happy, or a myriad of other emotions. Listening to or creating music can help you feel more in tune with yourself and help you process any feelings or thoughts you may be struggling with. Music therapy is a great way to get started so you can experience these benefits for yourself.

6. Find Time to Simply Be

When was the last time you allowed yourself to do nothing? Taking time to do nothing and not worry about being productive, or simply being disconnected from your phone or TV for a while, can be very beneficial. It helps you organize your thoughts and to be more connected with your emotions. Meditation is a great way to practice this. It can help you focus, reduce stress, and improve your sleep. 

7. Get Back to a Healthy Sleep Schedule

As we age, we might find ourselves experiencing changes with sleep. You might be having a harder time falling asleep, or you may be waking up earlier than you would like. Here are some ways you can get back to a healthier sleep schedule.

Reduce Caffeine Intake
Who doesn't love waking up to a nice cup of coffee or tea? It can be a great part of your morning ritual to prepare you for the day. However, caffeine can stay in your system for 4-12 hours, so it might be helpful to only consume one or two cups a day, and to enjoy a cup no later than noon.

Avoid Naps
You might find yourself taking naps throughout the day, especially if your quality of sleep isn't so great. This can throw off your sleep schedule even more. Try to avoid naps as much as possible to get into a healthier sleep schedule.  If you must nap, try to keep it short, around 15 to 30 minutes.

Limit Exposure to Blue Light
Light from your technological devices, such as your TV, computer, and even your phone can have a negative impact on your circadian rhythm. When you are surrounded by light, your brain will produce less melatonin, a hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy. Shutting off the lights one or two hours before bed will help your brain produce more melatonin.

If your sleep issues are severe enough to cause you problems during the day, like irritability and a lack of focus, you may want to reach out to your doctor to help identify the cause and get treatment.

8. Work With Your Hands

Being creative and working with your hands can help you express yourself, improve your mood, and improve cognitive function. Here is how and why it's especially important for seniors, and some fun ways to get started working with your hands. 

9. Reach Out to Friends and Family

Reconnecting with friends and family can help lift your spirits and keep you healthy. It's really important for seniors to have supportive, uplifting people in their lives. Here are some of the best reasons for fostering great friendships.

10. Seek Help When You Need It

Sometimes we need some extra help, and that's okay! At time, we may not be able to stick to routines or make healthy choices for ourselves, and we may feel like we are stuck and things won't improve. If you find yourself feeling this way, it's okay to seek out help. People who get the proper help for mental health struggles are more likely to recover and get back to living healthier, more fulfilling lives!

Mental Health Matters
With the right tools and a support system of friends, family, or medical partners, keeping a positive outlook becomes much more attainable.  Tell, us: What are some of the ways you prioritize your mental health and foster optimism?  Is there someone in your life who would benefit from your uplifting words and supportive encouragement?


Written By

Resort Lifestyle Communities

Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC) develops all-inclusive resort-style communities to provide a relaxing and worry-free retirement lifestyle for residents. The comfort, safety, and enjoyment of our residents are our top priorities. For this reason, every community is staffed with live-in managers, a 24/7 emergency alert system and concierge service, gourmet chefs, housekeepers, maintenance staff, a full-time lifestyle director, and more. For more information about RLC, visit RLCommunities.com.

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