Mental health affects many aspects of life, such as how you reason, act, and feel. How you feel and act can be impacted by stressors and anxiety that come from lifestyle changes. Moving to a new location, missing friends and losing loved ones can all impact your mental health. It is completely normal to feel sad or despondent every now and then, but for some, those lingering feelings can escalate to serious mental health concerns and conditions like depression. That is why it is important to maintain a high standard of mental health, especially for seniors whose mental health conditions often go undiagnosed or untreated.
Depression in seniors is difficult to diagnose and treat for the sole reason that seniors are less likely to admit when they feel depressed. Further complicating matters is that older adults run a higher risk of becoming isolated in their homes, thus adding to their risk of developing a serious mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that more than 6.5 million seniors in the U.S. suffer from depression. If you have noticed any change in your mental health lately, it’s vital that you seek professional help or contact your physician.
The good news is that there are ways to improve your state of mind and maintain a positive lifestyle. Experts agree staying physically healthy, socially active, and mentally engaged are key components to boosting your mental health. So, here are three ways to keep your mental health in check:
1. Stay moving. Exercise is not just good for your body, but it’s good for your mind, too. This is because exercise releases chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins, that not only increase your energy, but also improve your mood. While you can go to the gym or join a class that meets regularly, your workout regimen can also be as simple as going for a walk around your neighborhood while enjoying the fresh air. It’s refreshing to your body and mind to get up and start moving on a regular basis, and as a bonus, you can even spend this time with a friend.
2. Stay social. One of the easiest ways to improve your state of mind is by becoming socially involved in your community. Staying socially active as you age offers a variety of great benefits, including improving your mood and cognitive function. Retirement living communities often offer a variety of daily events and activities, from fitness and art classes to happy hours and movie nights. These activities not only enrich your life, but they also open the doors to meeting new friends. Friends who you can go shopping with, get dinner with, or just spend some leisurely time with. Another way to socially enrich your life is by scheduling a weekly call with your family, make it a Skype call or even connect on social media.
3. Stay educated. Speaking of technology, you can also use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to play brain games. A challenged brain is a happy brain, so if you’re struggling to stay engaged try giving your memory and cognition a boost through free apps. This might also be the perfect time to learn a new language, take up an instrument, or start a new hobby, all great ways to keep your brain happy and engaged. Through this, you will not only be working towards a goal, but you will also reap benefits, such as sharper focus, enhanced function and improved problem-solving skills.
The well being and mental health of seniors is something Crestwood Manor takes seriously. We believe you’ll enjoy life to the fullest here! We offer independent living options and stimulating activities for an engaging and positive lifestyle that will positively impact your state of mind. Schedule a tour to learn more about our vibrant continuing care retirement community in Whiting, New Jersey.