As we get older, we tend to focus most on how our bodies change physically. Our metabolism slows down. We?re less active and energized as we once were. Our hearts and digestive systems don’t work as well as they did. Our bones and muscles are more fragile. And while it?s important to keep tabs on physical health, mental and emotional health is just as important. Taking care of yourself in every way possible is the only way to ensure that you?re healthy both inside and out.
Keep reading for ways to boost your mental and emotional health as you get older.
Get Plenty of Sleep
While you may have been able to wing sleepless nights when you were younger, pulling an all-nighter at this stage in the game can be dangerous! As we get older, sleep becomes even more important. Without enough sleep each night, you?re likely to have issues focusing, memory loss, mood swings, and you?re even at a higher risk of infections. In the elderly, sleep deprivation can be caused by all sorts of issues, including medications, underlying health conditions, and poor stress management. To catch more quality Z’s at night:
- Follow a bedtime routine
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Avoid taking naps
- Don’t drink too close to bedtime
If your sleep is interrupted by nightmares, a strong urge to urinate, or the inability to breathe, you?ll want to consult with a doctor. Treating underlying health issues, such as sleep apnea or incontinence, can improve your sleep quality.
Know How to Relax
When you’re in your older years, you’ve got all the time in the world to relax. You’ve worked hard your entire life and these days, you’re in control. While we all have something to stress about, it’s important to find time to relax. Relaxing reduces stress, puts your mind at ease, and allows you to enjoy the simplicity of life. Spending time outdoors, reading a book, or listening to some of your favorite music allow your mind and body to drift away. Yoga and breathing exercises are also helpful in achieving a state of pure relaxation.
Sexual Health Plays a Role
Low self-esteem can lead to depression, which is quite common among older men. In aging men, depression is often linked to a man’s decline in sexual function. The inability to perform can take a toll on a man’s ego and self-esteem. Paired with the cost of medications to treat conditions like erectile dysfunction, the whole situation can be disheartening.
Sexual health issues can also plague women. Menopause causes all sorts of sexual issues, including vaginal dryness, low libido, and loss of sensitivity. Declined sexual health and function can also impact a woman?s self-esteem, causing her to feel guilty or unable to keep her partner happy.
Boost Your Brain
One of the inevitable parts of getting older is memory loss. As our brains age, it?s harder to recall information and learning new information can be just as problematic. When it comes to your overall health, your memory is important. If you forget to take a dosage of your prescription medication, you could be putting your physical health at risk. While we can?t completely stop memory loss, there are ways to keep your mind sharp.
Just like your body needs exercise, so does your brain. Mental stimulation keeps your brain active which in turn can reduce memory loss. Completing crossword puzzles and other mind-working activities can mitigate the impacts of getting older. Another way to fight against a decreasing memory is supplements. Taking the best vitamins for memory loss can keep your brain young.
Grow New Relationships
Socializing and maintaining relationships with friends and family members makes it much easier to age gracefully. Knowing that you have a group of supportive people behind you to help you through thick and thin can help ease any worries that you may have. Socializing has also proven to boost brain activity which can also fight against memory loss.
As you get older, it?s beneficial to find new friends who have the same hobbies and interests as you do. There?s no better feeling than sharing stories of your grandchildren or reminiscing on past experiences. Spending time with others keeps loneliness and depression at bay, allowing you to live happily and healthily.
While your physical health is important, your mental and emotional well-being is just as pertinent. Being healthy in every way possible ensures that you can enjoy your later years. With a strong mind, self-confidence, and a support network, aging is no match for you!