Editor’s Note: I thought this piece by Melissa Howard was especially relevant to the widows and widowers among our readers, or anyone who has suffered a loss and finds they have isolated themselves socially. This is, of course, exacerbated by the pandemic.
As we get older, it becomes more important to focus on both our physical and mental health. If you are a senior, you may already be eating better and seeing a doctor, but you still may not feel like your healthiest, happiest self. Social habits may have a greater impact on your well-being than dietary changes or check-ups. So, if you are feeling the effects of isolation, what can you do to improve your mental health and maybe even improve your quality of life? These simple self-care tips from AfterTalk could just help with both.
Work with a Professional if You’re Struggling
If you have intense or prolonged feelings of distress, working with a mental health specialist may be the best solution to moving forward. Plus, speaking with a professional has the built-in effect of giving you some human connection.
There are a variety of specialists who may benefit you, depending on your needs. For instance, do you tend to focus on the negatives rather than the positives? If so, neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, may be helpful. According to Medical News Today, NLP “is a way of changing someone’s thoughts and behaviors to help achieve desired outcomes for them,” so the practice may help you retrain your brain to see the sunnier side of things.
If you’re not sure who you should speak with, and if it’s grief that’s making life difficult, consider a resource like AfterTalk. Here, you can write to your lost loved one, which provides a cathartic outlet to feel connected, and you can even create your own group of friends and family, and use this outlet together.
CBD Oil May Potentially Boost Your Quality of Life
Seniors all too often feel isolated from the rest of the world due to mental and physical health problems. For instance, the link between depression, anxiety, and isolation can leave sufferers feeling even more lost and alone. Mental health issues may cause seniors to avoid other people, which breeds more loneliness, and that, in turn, leads to more feelings of depression and anxiety.
Another common source of depression in seniors is the presence of chronic pain. The good news is that there’s a natural remedy that may help fight depression and anxiety while also reducing chronic pain inflammation and symptoms.
The benefits of using CBD oil can be plentiful, and research is quickly discovering more uses every day. Like any supplement or medication, discuss using CBD oil with your doctor first. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you should also use a CBD buyer’s guide to find the best oil for your concerns.
Yoga and Fitness Classes May Help with Senior Isolation
Using CBD oil is a gentle and natural way to manage your mental health as an older adult. To multiply those therapeutic qualities, you should try combining health-boosting supplements with some heart-boosting yoga or other low-impact exercises.
A regular yoga practice can be a powerful form of physical exercise for seniors, but it may also help with feelings of depression and anxiety that stem from social isolation. Additionally, yoga classes can help adults feel more connected to other people. In fact, fitness classes or gyms can offer the opportunity to chat and bond with other folks who are interested in similar hobbies and activities.
If you are looking to meet a workout buddy or a fellow yogi, sign up for a group fitness class at your local gym. You can also find local yoga classes if gyms are not your thing. Either way, you’re bound to break out of your shell and gain some benefits for your mind and body in the process.
Meditation Can Help Seniors Find Peace Through Mindfulness
Making a habit of meditation can also improve isolation-related mental health issues. There are numerous studies that demonstrate the positive impacts that meditation can have on your overall well-being. Not only does meditation alleviate bad moods and feelings, but it can also reduce any stress seniors feel when faced with new social situations. You can meditate at home using a guided practice, but be sure to be mindful of the atmosphere you’re in.
Choose a space in your home that’s clean and free of clutter. You may find that you need to use a space in your garage, attic or in an unused room. If you opt to renovate an unused space, you’ll want to make it conducive to your practice. This includes laying down appropriate flooring, adding a rug and addressing repairs for windows and doors.
When looking for professionals to help with these tasks, you want to make sure you work with reputable and top-rated contractors. A search like “home window repair companies near me,” for example, will ensure you connect with someone who has the experience and the skills to handle your upgrades or repairs quickly and efficiently.
Find Ways to Spend Time with Others
Limiting stress can be good for your mental health and your ability to connect with new friends. You can meet those new friends by engaging in hobbies and activities that make you happy. If you like to travel, you may meet new people in a senior tour group. Or, you could even put together your own meetups for older adults. However, don’t think hobbies have to be expensive to benefit your social life. There are plenty of affordable hobbies, like reading and hiking, that can bring you happiness and fill your social calendar. Joining a book club or hiking group to meet fun new people is a simple and cost-effective way to broaden your social circle.
Taking time for yourself is a must for your mental health, but isolating too much can negate all of your hard work. Working with a mental health specialist, CBD oils, yoga and meditation, and joining social groups can be very beneficial to a senior looking for their next chapter in life. These simple steps can rejuvenate a person’s body and soul, and can prove once and for all that age is nothing but a number.
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