Are you in your late sixties and struggling to cope with changes in life? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Moving past the sixties can be as challenging as the transition from childhood into puberty, the reason being that old age has problems that are fairly underreported. From physical changes to emotional and cognitive changes, seniors face a number of unique challenges. The physical problems are usually reported and taken care of. But the emotional problems, that reflect on the cognitive level, tend to fly under the radar.
For instance, a man in his seventies becomes increasingly dependent on his children. He finds it embarrassing to keep calling his kids or grandkids for the smallest of things. This has a profound impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the senior. The loss of a loved one, such as a spouse, only makes matters worse.
Unfortunately, the mental health of seniors was a relatively neglected area till fairly recently. But in recent years, the mental health issues of senior citizens are being considered more seriously. The widespread awareness created via social media has certainly helped. Some older people can handle things on their own; but there are also others who require active support from mental health care professionals like psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, etc.
If you can relate to all that’s been discussed so far, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a few simple ways a senior can boost their mental health and well-being.
Most elders stop regular physical exercise after a period of time. But if you want to keep your body fresh, fit and sound, you must actively engage in exercise. Research shows that exercise profoundly impacts your cognition. Here are few tips to start exercising:
- Consult your physician to find any contraindications for physical activity.
- Engage in a daily exercise session of at least 30 minutes.
- You can go for non-impact exercises like slow walking, brisk walking, slow jogging (avoid straining too much).
- Perform yoga if possible.
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There are certain foods that boost the activity of the brain, and there are some that hamper it. Get a list of foods from your nutritionist or dietician that will help you keep you healthy and your brain active, like nuts and oilseeds.
Never miss a family function
Humans are ultimately emotional beings. If you are emotionally satisfied and happy, the mental issues are largely kept at bay. If you wish to keep your brain active, keep your heart happy. Happiness comes from being with your loved ones.
Most seniors stay at home or isolate themselves in their backyards. Avoid doing so. It is highly detrimental to your mental health. It will add to the stress, may cause depression and loneliness, and in the worst case scenario, results in the possibility of suicide. So whenever and wherever possible, do socialise. Spend time with old friends and befriend new ones.
Play games that boost the brain
If you wish to keep your brain sharp as you continue to age, then you must engage it in challenging activities. Playing a game of chess or solving puzzles, riddles, sudoku, etc. will ensure that your brain is always high in excitatory neurotransmitters.
Remember always that the aforementioned suggestions should become a consistent part of your routine. Doing so will ensure that you age gracefully, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
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