Growing Old Gracefully: 9 Steps To Maintaining Good Mental Health
Growing old is not easy. Mental health is nothing new.
An increased understanding of the importance of mental health along with the fact that people now live longer means it needs huge attention. Whether you’ve reached retirement age or you’re simply edging closer to it, mental wellness must be a priority.
After all, you will encounter more changes in your retirement years than you ever faced before them. Thankfully, removing the sense of unfamiliarity will make a world of difference. Here are nine steps to help you roll with the punches to ensure that these are your truly golden years.
#1. Get a good night’s rest
Small victories set the foundation for long-term success. This is especially true when opting for daily habits that can be easily maintained when you are growing old gracefully. The first thing to focus on, then, is the value of a good night’s sleep. Fixing this single aspect will put one-third of your life under control just like that.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep will cover a range of mental and physical health issues. This improves your happiness levels and can help slow some of the physical changes that are set to occur. Whether it’s mastering the transition from screen time to sleep or creating a more comfortable environment is up to you. Either way, sleep quality and duration are vital.
Aside from the direct benefits of starting and ending each day in style, it offers peace of mind. Knowing that you have a great night of sleep ahead, rather than fearing a night of tossing and turning, will make you happier.
#2. Invest In Your Look
Looking good makes you feel good at any age, but most especially when growing old gracefully. Getting a little older is not an excuse to lose sight of this. While there’s no reason to fear wrinkles and blemishes, it’s a good idea to invest in a good beauty routine. You will retain a more youthful glow.
Investing in your look may also mean getting a new hairstyle or new fashion outfits. The fact is that appearances count for a lot in this world. You will receive a lot of positive responses from friends and family, which will impact your mindset. Your sense of self-confidence will inevitably enjoy a huge boost as a direct result of this.
Furthermore, taking pride in your appearance encourages you to take pride in yourself. In turn, you will find that your mindset stays in a better and more stable position.
#3. Stay Active
The importance of regular exercise is promoted throughout our lives. However, it’s not only about the physical rewards of getting a better body image that matter. Staying active will keep you mobile and flexible. It can be highly rewarding as you get older. An additional benefit is that exercise brings routine to your days.
As a senior citizen, you might not be able to run a marathon (you might) but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying some activities. You can join the gym, practice yoga at home, or join a sports league for senior citizens. In addition to physical activity, it adds a social element that will aid your mental health.
It should be noted that the way you approach fitness can play a telling role. For example, setting yourself fitness goals gives you something to keep striving for. Likewise, the momentum gained from hitting your goals will leave you smiling.
Here my mother is pictured as she stays active and enjoys snorkeling in the Grand Caymans. Mom is a good example of growing old gracefully.
#4. Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Help
We will all experience physical changes as we get a little older. While it can be hard to admit you need it, accepting help from the right people can help you maintain better health. In turn, you will enjoy a far better quality of life compared to suffering in silence. Loved ones can support you in some aspects but experts may be needed too.
Seeking help from visiting experts may enable you to retain your independence and live at home rather than in care. In-home occupational therapy is, therefore, one of the most effective solutions. Visit https://serenityhomehealth.com/services/occupational-therapy/ to see how it can be used to support you. Tailored plans are crucial for your ongoing comfort.
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. Reaching out for support can help you cope with the transition. Moreover, spending less time struggling with issues you can’t handle will allow you to focus on enjoying things you can. Perfect.
#5. Spend Time With Loved Ones
In terms of doing things you like, it’s always best to do them with the people you love. Getting older may prevent you from completing some tasks. Or it may require you to adapt. Either way, simply being around your friends and family in recreational situations will pay dividends.
The harsh reality of modern life is that friends and families are commonly separated by distance. However, even when you can’t meet up with each other in person, tech can help. If you are able to read this article, you are more than capable of using video chat software. Right now, it is a very useful option due to the laying fallout of the pandemic.Nobody wants to look back on their life with regrets. Click To Tweet
Ultimately, you will never feel bad about enjoying magical moments with the people who matter most in your life. So, it will be a key step into staying in a positive mindset during later life.
Here you can see that my own parents have always absolutely loved spending time together.
#6. Find Hobbies
Time spent with loved ones is amazing. However, it’s likely that you will have more spare time to fill once in retirement. Boredom can quickly lead to a range of emotional health problems. As such, finding ways to keep yourself occupied is key. A combination of new hobbies and rediscovering old ones is the answer.
If living in a village for senior citizens, finding activities will be easy. If not, you can still discover local clubs and activities in the area. Whether it’s golf, art, dance, or joining the social club is of no consequence. The new hobbies will provide a source of happiness while also allowing you to meet new people.
The exciting activities and new friendships will both feed into a happier mindset. Crucially, it encourages you to live in the moment. If your mental health is in a good place each day, the long-term aspects will follow suit.
#7. Identify Issues Early
Even when you take the right steps to maintain a positive mindset, nobody is immune to mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, and related conditions are more common than ever. Likewise, Alzheimer’s becomes a bigger threat because people are living longer. Early identification is a key step to overcoming the challenges.
Most people experience some moments of anxiety or sadness in their lives, not least as they get older. However, spotting the signs of a genuine condition is crucial. Check out https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/recognizing-symptoms to learn more. Once spotted, you can seek the right treatment to manage the situation for a happier life.
Retirement can increase the risks of mental health issues surfacing. Meanwhile, the confusion caused by cognitive declines cannot be ignored.
#8. Manage Your Finances
Money matters. Therefore, maintaining good financial health can have a big influence on your physical and mental health. As you reach retirement age, your income will be a lot smaller, even if you have a good pension pot. As such, finding ways to reduce your outgoings is the key to success.
Financial stability doesn’t mean you have to be rich. You simply need to know that your finances are in good enough health to guide you through retirement. Using price comparisons to reduce your bills will serve you well. Losing unused subscriptions and using your savings accounts are great tips too. Of course, senior discounts should be embraced.
Money won’t make you happy, but it allows you to focus on living life to the fullest. Click To Tweet
For that reason alone, you should not overlook the need to get your finances under control. In addition to improving your mental health, it ensures you can leave more to your loved ones when you’re gone.
#9. Accept That Getting Older Is Natural
As you get older, it can be easy to feel a little sorry for yourself. Ultimately, though, the way you respond to life is the key to making the most of it. We all get a little older and we all face challenges along the way. Accepting that getting older is a natural part of life and finding ways to adapt will ensure that those issues cause no negativity.
The Regina Brett quote still rings true; the truth is that you have it far better than many others. Likewise, you’ve lived your life and have the experience of knowing how to deal with situations. As long as you continue to enter every situation with a positive mindset, you won’t go wrong. This will exponentially help with growing old gracefully.
You can’t turn the clocks back. So, the best thing you can do is make the most of today and tomorrow. Click To Tweet
Focus on this while respecting the other tips for growing old gracefully, as mentioned above, and your mental health will remain in the best place possible.
Please note that all pictures shared in this post are of my own parents.
Even in just these few pictures shared you can see that my parents have lived a rich life as they made every attempt to growing old gracefully.
My father continues his journey through life while my mother is recently deceased. (5.7.21).