Mental health MATTERS! Today more than ever, older adults are facing chronic stress, which negatively impacts the mind, body, and spirit.
The good news is, there are simple strategies that can help you improve your mental health. In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, try the following:
#1- Get Out Of Your Shell (and Reengage With the Community!)
Unfortunately, as we age, we have a tendency to isolate. The pandemic brought that isolation to a whole new level, and as a result, many of us are stuck “in our shell” at home.
While that can feel really comfortable, the reality is, isolation doesn’t support our mental health. As humans, we are “wired” to exist in community with others.
In fact, social support helps us cope with stress– it has even been shown to lower our rates of depression and anxiety!
As you reconnect with your local community, try the following:
- Reach out to friends
- Meet up with family for an afternoon together
- Get involved in a local community activity
- Make a move to an assisted living facility where increased opportunities for socialization and activity are a part of daily life.
Rest assured, stepping out of your shell can make a big difference in terms of your mental health.
#2- Mix It Up
You may be feeling “stuck in your ways.” Routine is soothing to us. Yet, if you do the same things day in and day out, it gets a little boring. Variety is the spice of life, after all!
Try these easy ways to “mix up” your routine:
- Prepare a New Recipe
Search your old cookbooks, look online or ask a friend for a favorite recipe. Then get busy cooking. Invite a relative or friend to enjoy the meal together!
- Join (or Start) a Club
Getting together with people who have similar interests can be a great way to explore your hobbies and connect. Perhaps a book club, gardening group or woodworking club would be right up your alley?
- Explore a New Hobby.
Try something new! If you are unsure what sounds fun, consider the activities you enjoyed as a kid.
#3- Find Independence
It might seem counterintuitive, but moving to assisted living can actually help you become more independent.
This is because the right assisted living facility can provide the ideal amount of support based on your needs. For example, imagine being able to spend all of the time you usually spend on yard work doing fun and enriching hobbies. The support opens you up to new possibilities.
Rather than being homebound and isolated, in assisted living, residents actually have more independence than they might have otherwise. There are plenty of opportunities to try activities and excursions which promote independence as well.
#4: Connect…Through Technology
Technology can bring us together! Chatham Place at Mary Wade residents love iN2L, a program that helps them connect with caregivers, family members, and friends through conversation and learning.
The software allows loved ones to build personalized portals with photos, videos, games, shows as well as other “favorites” in one centralized portal. It helps the community positively connect with joy and purpose.
It is just one of the many ways Chatham Place at Mary Wade residents are staying connected and improving their mental health.
#5: Get Moving
When we move, our body releases endorphins. These “feel good” hormones help us improve our mood, release stress and feel better physically.
Explore a new physical activity. How about water aerobics or taking a stroll on that new walking trail in town?
You just might find yourself enlivened and invigorated as you get your blood pumping.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, step out of your shell and try something new. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new hobby, physical activity, or making new connections– by “mixing it up,” you’ll support your brain health, physical fitness, and overall well-being.
Chatham Place at Mary Wade is dedicated to helping seniors enjoy their lives. Residents receive just the right amount of support in order to remain as independent as possible. Connections and new friendships abound as residents participate in creative and physical activities and programs. Further, our devoted team of caregivers and specialists are committed to providing one-on-one, personalized care in a warm and supportive environment. Contact us to learn more.