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.
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.
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.
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
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
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?