A study by the Center for Disease Control showed that an estimated 20% of seniors aged 55 or older experience some form of mental health concern. The most common mental health issues include severe cognitive impairment, anxiety, and mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Mental health issues, especially anxiety and mood disorders, can have a significant impact on physical health in seniors. Untreated mental health disorders can lead to worsening chronic illnesses and diminished social, physical, and mental functioning.
Making the effort to better your mental and physical health is not always an easy feat, and without implementing proper wellness practices, seniors run the risk of a decline in their health. Luckily, there are simple steps that seniors can take to ease them into the world of wellness.
SIX WAYS FOR SENIOR ADULTS TO PRACTICE WELLNESS
Keeping a journal is a prime example of a simple yet effective way to practice wellness. Journaling regularly is a great way to manage anxiety and depression. Giving yourself the space to clear your mind and organize your thoughts is a healthy and cathartic way to cope with stress. Writing one sentence every day provides a timeline of your life that allows you to look back and learn from past mistakes, while also reaping the health benefits. Wellzesta Life offers real-time health journaling to support personalized wellness.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Keeping in touch with your surroundings seems simple enough, but being mindful of the present is something you have to practice. Mindfulness is the practice of being completely aware of and in touch with the present moment. Engaging in mindfulness exercises has been shown to have a positive effect on anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, and more. Along with the health benefits, being mindful can boost attention and concentration. Through being more present around friends and family, mindfulness can help improve relationships, too.
3. Stay in Touch With Friends
Social interaction has a tremendous impact on mental health. Staying connected with friends as we age can fend off feelings of isolation and loneliness. Seniors with stable social support are less likely to partake in unhealthy lifestyles (excessive drinking, smoking, etc.) and have a reduced risk of high blood pressure and depression. Friendships also increase your sense of belonging, as well as improve self-confidence and worth.
Volunteering not only helps others but also comes with personal benefits. Seniors who volunteer show a lower risk of depression, as volunteering keeps them socially connected and gives them a sense of purpose. Volunteering regularly is also linked to higher physical functionality in seniors. Residents who use the Wellzesta Life platform rate vocational wellness as having an extremely positive impact on their health and well-being.
5. Go For a Walk
Exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle. However, some seniors may have trouble finding an exercise routine that works for them. Fitting in a 30-minute walk three times a week is one simple way to gain multiple health benefits. Walking improves heart health, reduces chronic joint and back pain, and lowers blood sugar. Along with physical advantages, walking improves your mood by releasing the endorphins in your body that reduce stress. If you can get outside and enjoy nature, that’s a plus. If that is not possible, standing in place or walking to new surroundings is beneficial.
6. Take up a Hobby (or even a new career)
Finding a hobby that you genuinely enjoy doing is the easiest way to promote wellness in yourself. Learning how to cook, for example, soothes stress and builds self-esteem, and comes recommended by therapists as a way to treat anxiety and depression. If cooking is not for you, discovering any activity that gives a sense of accomplishment can boost wellbeing and prevent negative thinking, effectively improving your mental health. Take it a step further with micro-preneurship.
HOW WELLZESTA LIFE CAN HELP
Wellzesta’s Life software is designed to help seniors live purposefully by promoting communication and wellness. Life inspires senior living residents to focus on their own mental and physical wellbeing and offers multiple features that simplify the process.
Life provides residents with a personal wellness coach, DOT, that encourages them to “Do One Thing” new every week. DOT offers wellness content in the form of weekly videos, focusing on multi-dimensional wellness. Life challenges residents to take their wellbeing into their own hands by allowing them to set goals and gain wellness points from their achievements.
Life also encourages socialization by making it easy for seniors to keep in touch with their friends and other residents. Users are able to join groups, register for both on-campus and virtual events, and stay connected in their community.
The importance of wellness and taking care of yourself does not decrease with age. Engaging in these activities is a simple step towards achieving better mental and physical health.
To learn more, click here to schedule a discovery call with Wellzesta.