Your emotional health and well-being are just as important as that of your physical health and fitness. You can be the most active and healthiest person in your neighborhood, regardless of your age, yet, if gloominess sets it, you might not even want to get out of bed.
So, with this in mind, continue reading to learn five tips on how to maintain high levels of emotional well-being as an older adult.
1. Reconnect with Old Friends (& Make Some New Ones)
Firstly, the fundamental problem with spending large portions of the average day alone in your own home is that this isolation breeds more isolation, and before you know it, you are enjoying living a hermit-style life.
This is why, even if you do not always feel like it, you should ensure you are in regular contact with family members and friends, whether that be through social networking sites or through more traditional meet-ups at pubs and garden centers.
Isolation and loneliness are among the biggest killers of older adults, which is indeed a frightening fact, yet serves to highlight the supreme importance of remaining socially active as you get older.
You could consider reaching out to old friends you have lost contact with in the past few years, either through the more modern means of the internet and various social media platforms or by taking the more traditional route of rifling through your address book and making some calls.
Moreover, you could even consider starting an evening class in a hobby or pastime that you have always been interested in, which will simultaneously develop a new skill and mean you will make new friends as a result.
2. Volunteering Locally
Another incredibly beneficial activity to consider in your golden years is volunteering, either as a worker in a local charity shop or working with children or animals nearby.
There is a wide plethora of fantastic advantages to spending just one or two hours a week offering your services to notable and worthy causes, including:
- Higher levels of confidence and self-esteem.
- A way to develop new and interesting skills.
- Making a tangible and positive change and difference in others’ lives.
- Substantial improvements to your mental health.
Moreover, even though there will be days, especially throughout the winter months, whereby you simply cannot be bothered to pick yourself up and head out in the cold to work at a local soup kitchen, for example, you need to remember why you are doing it and how multi-beneficial volunteering is.
3. Consider Relocating to a Senior Living Community
Especially in the case of older individuals who are currently going through a period of isolation and are feeling more and more lonely with each passing day, a somewhat more drastic yet highly advantageous decision would be to consider living in prominent senior living communities.
From independent living communities where each resident is essentially living in their own home in the same way they currently are, but with far less mundane responsibility, to assisted living communities that serve to offer a higher level of care should it be needed.
Independent living communities are perhaps most suited to someone who is active, healthy, and happy yet wants to break out of their comfort zone and seek to learn new things and make new friends.
Essentially, an independent living community is exactly the same as a private home, just with household maintenance and upkeep tasks taken over by the center’s staff.
4. Mindfulness & Meditation
Now, for many years, practices such as meditation have been seen as a throwback from the 1970s and the hippy movement, but in actual fact, meditation can be incredibly useful and effective, especially for older people.
Simple beginner’s meditative techniques, such as sitting on the floor with your eyes closed with atmospheric music playing through a nearby speaker, can do wonders to cleanse and clear your mind and make you better prepared for the day ahead.
Additionally, and for the more supple seniors out there, you could also teach yourself various yoga positions, either at home or by attending a class.
5. Animal Therapy
The fifth and final effective way to improve and, indeed, maintain your levels of emotional health and well-being as an older adult is to consider adopting an animal from your local shelter.
Being in the presence of animals does not only do wonders for your emotional health but will also help with your physical health too.
When a pair of excitable bunnies are jumping on your chest at six in the morning, the cat wants to go outside (and then immediately wants to return again), or your dog is asking for a walk, physical fitness is just one of the many benefits to owning an animal.