Latest posts by Diana Smith (see all)
- Things You Can Do Every Day To Protect Your Mental Health As You Age - April 16, 2019
As we age, we naturally tend to focus more and more on our physical health, and fail to recognize the importance of taking care of our mental wellbeing as well. We need to learn how to treat both our body and mind, and not get wound up in our everyday routines, schedules and unavoidable stress. There are many things you can do on a daily basis to protect your mental health as you age, and below, we listed some for you to take note of and incorporate them in your everyday life.
Meditation is a thoroughly beneficial training of the mind, and a great daily escape from stress. It may seem to some as too simple and passive to have any effect, but this could not be further from the truth. Aside from needing and upgrading your concentration, dedication, and stamina, this spiritual practice helps you stay grounded, present and calm. According to scientific research, it additionally helps your brain age more slowly and increases the amount of gray matter in your brain, improving your overall mood, social behavior and emotional intelligence.
2. Pamper yourself
Practicing self-love should be a priority from day one, and particularly when we’re getting closer to the golden age. Wash away the stress with a full treatment spa weekend, or simply soak in a warm bath with essential oils and soothing music in the background. Embrace your artistic and creative side, or pick up a new hobby that will fulfill your spare time and help you unwind. Surprise yourself with a fancy piece of clothing, a new book, or a plant, just to remind your own self that you are your priority.
3. Foster your social life
Strong social ties are associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and a longer life expectancy. Especially in your golden age, you may come to struggle with self-care and isolation, and the best option is to find the best aged care you can and stay surrounded by people and opportunities for various activities to fill your days with. Moreover, simply laughing with your family and friends or cuddling with your little furry friend (having a pet is super-beneficial for mental wellbeing) helps cope with stress, depression and anxiety.
4. Spend time in nature
As the modern world we live in is crazily fast and chaotic, we can rarely afford to dedicate a significant amount of time to spend in nature. However, staying connected to our spiritual side, as well as Mother Nature, is of crucial importance for our mental wellbeing. Not only will you visually and physically enjoy the most beautiful sceneries of beach sunsets, river sounds, birds singing, or fall leaves crushing under your feet, but your mind will also benefit from nature’s healing effect, better known as ecotherapy.
5. Physical activity
Keeping an active body is crucial if you want to keep your mind active and healthy. Regardless of your age, at least 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended for reducing the risk of both physical and psychological diseases. Really any form of exercise, including light stretching or going for a stroll in the park, is a way to benefit your body and improve your mental ability to cope with stress.
Growing older exposes us to many stressful and overwhelming events, brings us face to face with all sorts of emotions and states, and therefore our mental function changes along with it. Instead of passively waiting for years to come and take your youth, energy and mental capability away, you can be proactive in postponing this.
Mental decline is common and natural with aging, but there’s a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp, alert and healthy. As many of the supposed age-related changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related, you can easily work to ward off these with the simple tips from above.
Featured image: Unsplash