So much time and column inches are dedicated to protecting your heart, brain, and physical health and fitness levels as you age.
However, even though matters relating to mental health are now more prevalent in popular culture, there’s still much work to be done.
Here are seven top tips for building your emotional health and well-being levels up to a consistent and healthy place.
1. Eat More of the Right Things
Even though it can often be more than frustrating to change your eating habits, especially when experiencing prolonged periods of low mood, it is worth it.
If your friends and family members suggest changing your daily diet and consuming healthier and more nutritious food, you should do this.
However, numerous research studies have conclusively proven that what you eat can indeed have a direct effect on how you feel.
So it would be shrewd to change your eating habits. Foods known to be a positive contributor to mental health and well-being and the overall health of the brain include:
- Leafy greens such as spinach and kale
- Fat-free yogurt
- Nuts and seeds
Additionally, be sure to drink at least a couple of glasses of water every day, too.
2. Consider Adopting a Pet
The connection between human beings and members of the animal kingdom is regularly underestimated by those people who claim to “not be much of an animal person”.
Whether or not you’ve shared your home with animals before, adopting a pet could help your mental health.
Benefits to adopting an older pet are numerous, and obviously, different species of animals provide different positive influences, with the following being some of the most beneficial:
- The unconditional love and affection that you’ll receive once you’ve built a bond
- The heightened level of physical exercise each and every day
- A reason to get out of bed in the morning
- A reduction in blood pressure and an increase in serotonin (the “happy” hormone)
3. Stay Connected To Your Nearest & Dearest
Another hugely important aspect of taking care of your emotional health and well-being is to make sure you’re reaching out to family and friends on a regular basis, even on the days when you’re simply not interested in a conversation.
If you’re someone who spends entire weeks in your own company, save for short and superficial conversations with the checkout staff at your local grocery store, you may alternatively want to consider senior living options.
More specifically, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with dementia, for example, it would be hugely beneficial to look into the numerous advantages of moving to a center for senior memory care in La Jolla.
4. Work On Your Aptitude for Gratitude
The simple yet highly influential emotion of gratitude is one that’s often overlooked, especially for people who are struggling with low mood and depression.
Feeling gratitude and being thankful for the good things in life can certainly help to alleviate any negative feelings.
You could start simply, by writing down everything you’ve enjoyed in the day, from little things like sitting in the garden and drinking a cup of coffee in the sunshine, to spending the day with your grandchildren or enjoying an evening of binge-watching your favourite television program.
At the end of every day, record everything within that day that you feel grateful for and read these positive experiences back to yourself when you start to feel negative feelings descending.
5. Become A Student Again
It may well be the case that you graduated to a master’s or even PhD level in a certain specialism, or conversely, maybe you left high school before your final year.
But regardless of your own personal experience with learning, it’s never too late to change educational direction.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano, you’ve visited France many times and would love to be fluent in such a romantic language, or else you’re interested in living an eco-friendlier life.
Think about your personal interests and the types of documentaries and non-fiction books that you usually tend to gravitate to, and consider expanding your knowledge base in one or more of these areas.
6. Start Giving Back to Your Local Community
Even if you are not someone who believes in karma and ‘what goes around comes around,’ there are still numerous advantages to spending just an hour or so a week volunteering in your local community or else finding other ways to ‘give back.’
Just a few ideas on how to be a more active member of your local community and help the people around you who may be less fortunate than you include:
- Buy your groceries from smaller and independent stores
- Recycle absolutely everything inside the home
- Volunteer in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
- Donate excess or extra food to a local food bank
- Share good news in a new community newsletter
7. Reconnect With Old Friends
Busy working lives, particularly if you’ve spent many years balancing raising a family with working a stressful job.
That meant even your most cherished and oldest friends have faded into the background, even when you didn’t mean for this to happen.
Isolation and loneliness are serious issues and have a hugely negative impact on the mental health and well-being of people of all ages
But in older adults and the elderly, both of these can quickly start to impact physical health, too.
Reach out to old friends and family members who you love and always used to be close to and arrange days out, coffee mornings, or even invite them to stay with you for a couple of days.
You’ll see for yourself how much fun you’ll have reminiscing about old times and creating new memories together.
Your emotional health and well-being are, indeed, absolutely your own responsibility.
If you’re starting to experience periods of low mood, fatigue, confusion, or any other symptom associated with depression, you should make an appointment with your medical doctor.