6 Easy Ways for Seniors to Boost Their Mental Health Every Day

exercises for seniors at home

6 Easy Ways for Seniors to Boost Their Mental Health Every Day

From one day to the next, our mental health is never exactly the same. Especially as we age, we may feel fit and energetic one day, then bogged down and exhausted by physical concerns the next. Combat with challenges such as loss and loneliness, older adults may find themselves struggling with their mental health far more than they did in the years before.

Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, making an effort to improve your mental health quality will positively impact your life at every turn. For simple-to-implement options, try these six easy ways for seniors to boost their mental health every day.

6 Easy Ways for Seniors to Boost Their Mental Health Every Day

Get moving

Time and time again, physical activity has proven to be precisely what our bodies need to manage a myriad of conditions. Exercise, too, has been shown to help improve depression symptoms and reduce anxiety.  This is due to the release of chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, also known as the “feel good” chemicals, both of which are essential to improving your mood.

Each day, make an effort to get moving—which refers to more than moving from your couch to your bed (though that is certainly better than nothing!). Take a 30-minute walk every day or follow a yoga video on YouTube. Even if you were in a terrible mood, you’ll walk away from your session feeling better.

Spend time outdoors

Though the reason as to why is still up in the air, research shows that spending time outdoors has a substantial impact on our mental health. According to a number of studies, exposure to natural environments improves working memory, cognitive flexibility, attention span, and even reduces stress. It also has significant emotional benefits, including increased positive affect, a sense of purpose, and overall happiness.

In the dead of winter, you can kill two birds with one stone by taking your daily walks outdoors. However, when the weather begins to warm, a picnic or reading in the park are great ways to get some vitamin D. Even just having plants in one’s home makes a difference.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is another function that is positively necessary to our overall health. Those who don’t sleep enough experience higher levels of stress, consume foods higher in carbohydrates and sugars, and are even more likely to fall ill. Seniors who regularly get enough sleep have improved physical health, memory, concentration, and even mood. It also gives us the opportunity to process our emotions in a healthier mode.

Seniors should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep. In order to increase your likelihood of quality sleep, you should follow a regular bedtime schedule, keep electronics out of the bedroom, and avoid napping as possible. Making a point to exercise and eat well will also impact your sleep quality.

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Contact loved ones

Our relationships do wonders for boosting seniors’ mental health. Those who are disengaged from a community experience loneliness and isolation, which can lead to physical and mental repercussions alike. Each day, make a point to cultivate your social connections, be it through a short phone call or lunch with a friend. Communicating with those you care about always has the power to lift spirits.

In addition to strengthening your old relationships, why not build new ones? Though it may not be feasible every day, attending clubs, community events, or other social activities throughout the week is a great way to meet new people and form new bonds.

Make time for your interests

What better way to improve your mood than doing what you love? Throughout the span of your career, you may have had to push aside certain hobbies or interests due to limited time. In your retirement years, you now have the freedom to pursue whatever you’d like. Every day, make an effort to partake in an activity you enjoy, whether that is reading, gardening, or pottery. Even just half an hour will do wonders for your mood.

As mentioned above, you can explore new interests by attending classes or clubs. This is a fantastic avenue for meeting others while doing something you love.

Receive the support you need

As an older adult, certain activities of daily living aren’t as simple as they once were. Cooking could be daunting, cleaning exhausting, and even maintaining one’s personal hygiene could be a challenge. If you struggle with any of these tasks, you may benefit from the support of an at-home caregiver.

For over 30 years, Home Care Powered by AUAF has supported seniors in the greater Chicago area. Our staff offers clients the compassionate, non-medical support they require to age comfortably and confidently in place. To many seniors, that support is precisely what they need for their overall happiness and peace of mind.

If you think home care could be the answer for your lifestyle, give us a call at (773) 274-9262. We would be happy to speak with you about our services.

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