How Can Seniors Take Care of Their Mental Health?
Entering retirement is an exciting stage of life, but the transition does not come without unique challenges. No matter what the future holds, it is essential to prioritize taking care of yourself — particularly your mental health.
Why Senior Mental Health Important?
Many would agree that physical health is vital for individuals of all ages. However, we cannot forget the value of caring for our mental health as well. Our overall well-being — emotional, psychological, and social — has a direct impact on our quality of life. It affects how we think, feel, and act. These problems of stress, depression and anxiety can be often overlooked or untreated, resulting in a lessened quality of life. Aging adults can (and should) prioritize their mental health to fully enjoy their retirement and embrace this next chapter.
How Can I Care for My Mental Health?
If you want to dedicate more time to your mental well-being, there are a few simple recommendations we suggest you start with:
1. Be Social
Research links a healthy social life to several benefits, including a lessened risk of depression, a more positive outlook, and even a longer life span. To combat loneliness and isolation, make a point to stay connected to current friends and family, or try to make new friends! Technology such as social media and video chatting make staying connected even more effortless.
2. Stay Active
No matter the type of physical activity, exercise benefits both the mind and body. Exercising regularly has an extensive list of benefits including:
- Reduced fall risk
- Improved sleep
- Boosts mood
- Increased energy
- Reduced risk of dementia
Consider taking a walk each day or making time to stretch. You may even join a yoga class or ballroom dancing class to add to the fun! No matter the type or intensity of the activity, any form of exercise is advantageous to seniors.
3. Find Purpose
It is certainly nice to have more time and freedom after retirement; however, it’s not uncommon to struggle finding your purpose. To combat this challenge, seek out new ways to add meaning to your day-to-day routines and contribute to your own community. Perhaps you channel your creativity towards a new hobby like painting or gardening. Maybe you vow to spend more time with your grandkids or volunteer in the community. Some folks even use their time to reap the benefits of a deeper spiritual connection. Research shows that religion and spirituality provide older adults with many benefits, including improved social relationships, better coping skills and greater longevity.
4. Manage Stress
While stress is natural at any age, chronic stress can lead to serious health issues in older adults. Beyond physical exercise or social interactions, there are additional ways that you can take to combat life’s daily stressors. Learn to practice mindfulness or make other relaxation exercises a part of your daily routine. Try deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. You can even spend time in nature or enjoy the companionship of a pet to reduce cortisol levels and, in turn, reduce stress.
5. Seek Support
Moving into retirement is undoubtedly a significant life change. Some adults can embrace the change with ease. For others, the transition is a little more challenging. If you feel that your mental health is suffering, seek support from friends or loved ones. Speak openly about your struggles with your physician. No matter how you’re feeling, do not struggle alone: speak up for yourself and do what you need to improve your mental well-being.
How Does The Lodge Make Mental Health a Priority?
The Lodge at Magnolia Manor is committed to supporting the mental health of each of its future residents. Our community will offer creative opportunities for residents to flourish through our Christian-based community with plenty of on-site programming and amenities to enjoy.
The Lodge is committed to providing residents with the highest level of independence with regular support once our community opens. Our ultimate goal is for older adults to live their lives to the fullest, including addressing the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of residents. Reach out to one of our team members today or schedule a visit to learn more about The Lodge!