Whether it’s due to a health problem, the loss of a loved one or other life changes, many older adults experience mental health issues. Although they’re common to have in later adulthood, feelings of depression and anxiety do not have to be a normal part of aging. Our wellness team at Ovation put together this list of things older adults can do to improve their mental health.
1. Physical activity
Physical activity has a variety of benefits for both the mind and body. When a person exercises, even moderately, it causes their brain to release endorphins. This feel-good hormone, combined with the release of tension from muscles, promotes feelings of calm and well-being. If you’re feeling down, try a new yoga routine or go for a walk outside for an improved mood.
2. Engage the mind
Maintaining memory and brain function, along with combating depression, requires small everyday acts to keep the mind occupied and alert. Doing puzzles, reading, and writing are some enjoyable activities that engage the mind. Having a purpose in life and attainable ambitions increases self-esteem and mental health. Volunteering and participating in group activities are excellent methods of challenging the mind and fostering social contact.
3. A balanced diet
Some nutrients can help elevate your mood. This includes omega-3 and fatty acids in fish, as well as zinc and B vitamins from fruits such as bananas, which can all aid in lifting depressive feelings. Additionally, avoiding heavy meals with starchy carbohydrates can be helpful.
4. Connect with family and friends
Since humans are by nature social beings, isolation and loneliness have a negative effect on our moods. It’s important to maintain a healthy social life in later adulthood by spending time with people who have similar interests and are at the same stage of life as you. The community at Ovation Sienna Hills fosters social connections among our residents through regular activities and outings, plus many opportunities to mingle during a game of pickleball or over a meal. We can offer you the right environment you need to live an enjoyable life in your senior years.