When you reach a certain age, you realize that all your life, you worked hard, trying to look after your family’s needs, but you conveniently ignored your own.
You bravely endured long hours, undue stress, hazardous conditions, or any barrier that could make your loved ones’ lives uncomfortable.
Although the emphasis on self-care is pretty recent, it doesn’t diminish the importance of maintaining healthy habits, especially in our later years. Many factors link aging and self-care, so paying attention to them at the right time is essential.
However, gradual self-care can reap many benefits. To help you get started, we have defined self-care, explained why it is crucial to your health, and provided tips on practicing it.
Self-care is more than relaxing, pampering, and having fun – it includes taking care of oneself in all aspects of life.
According to WHO, self-care refers to maintaining and promoting health and preventing disease without a physician’s assistance.
Everyone can benefit from implementing self-care into their routine, regardless of age!
Making decisions that enhance our quality of life is part of self-care. By prioritizing self-care, we can better cope with the ups and downs of life. Here are seven ways seniors can take care of themselves regularly!
Seniors take on a lot and bottle things up, which can cause mental health issues. This is especially true if you are a veteran; you may not be mentally or physically fit. Now that you are home, pay attention to your physical, mental, and financial needs.
If you suffer from a rare illness such as mesothelioma (linked to asbestos exposure), the financial burden can cause additional strain.
However, you can deal with it by contacting an asbestos law firm that can help you get the compensation you deserve. The purpose of these firms is to hold asbestos-exposed companies accountable for their actions.
Approximately 20% of older adults have mental health concerns, but seniors are less likely to seek treatment than any other age group.
The primary reason is mental health issues in men are stigmatized and shamed. The reality is that mental health difficulties are prevalent – about 26% of U.S. adults have a diagnosable mental condition each year. If you’re struggling, you’re not the only one in the room.
Whether you’re suffering from loneliness, anxiety, or depression or want someone to talk to for advice, a mental health professional can provide much support and relief.
Mental health professionals are equipped with methods and tools to deal with difficulties like regular physicians.
The benefits of spending time outdoors are astounding! The experience of reconnecting with nature can be therapeutic for the soul – basking in the sun, feeling its warmth on the skin, or relishing the fresh outdoors – is a beautiful way to pamper yourself.
Spend some time outside relaxing and refreshing. Try walking in the woods, relaxing by the beach, hiking, or even sitting in the garden.
A recent study found that participants who walked in nature for 90 minutes experienced fewer negative thoughts, also known as ‘rumination.’
Simply being outside can have such a positive effect on our health, not only physically but also mentally. According to studies, people who live close to nature tend to have lower heart rates, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
Socializing with loved ones is an integral part of the human experience, which makes it essential to include it in your self-care routine!
High-fives or handshakes trigger the release of oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone that decreases cortisol levels. Nearly continuous research demonstrates that socialization positively affects our mental health.
According to a recent study, having good friends can even reduce cognitive decline later in life. Additionally, regular contact with family and friends helps release endorphins and boosts your mood, alleviating depression.
Social isolation is a significant concern, especially for seniors. So keeping in touch with family and friends is vital.
However, physically meeting a person is not always easy. They can take advantage of social media platforms and stay in touch! Evidence suggests that older adults with chronic pain who use social media are less prone to depression.
The benefits of staying in shape go beyond your physical health. Aerobic exercise releases pleasure hormones “endorphins” in our bodies, sometimes referred to as “runner’s high.” However, running isn’t the only way to get benefits from exercise.
No matter what kind of physical activity you enjoy, whether you swim, walk, jog, dance, do yoga, or even do gardening, research indicates that movement reduces depression and anxiety.
The benefits of exercise also include improved self-esteem and reduced social withdrawal symptoms.
It is also essential to consider the exercise’s intensity. Our bodies release more endorphins when we engage in challenging activities. Choose an exercise that gets your blood flowing, and if possible, exercise outdoors or with friends.
You may be wondering what the connection between drinking water and health is. The ability to stay well hydrated plays a crucial role in keeping our bodies regulated and completing their everyday tasks. The same is true for our brains.
Dehydration not only causes headaches, but it can also adversely affect our mood as well. Evidence suggests that not drinking enough water increases depression risk for men by 73% and women by 54%, according to one study.
Be sure to drink enough water every day as part of your self-care routine
Counting your blessings keeps you away from negative thoughts and cultivates gratitude. Seeing the silver lining in every cloud helps you navigate life with ease and positivity.
Gratitude is a great way to care for yourself. It makes us focus on our blessings rather than our shortcomings.
If you start maintaining a record of things you are grateful for, you can find happiness in any situation! Every day, write down at least one thing you are thankful for – this can be anything from watching a beautiful sunset to a nostalgic memory of your childhood.
We often strive relentlessly for those we love, and our desires and passions take a backseat. Then as we age, old hobbies and passions usually fade away. One of the perks of active retirement is having a lot of time on your hands!
The best way to take care of yourself is to pick back up hobbies you used to enjoy or step outside your comfort zone and discover new interests.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s acquiring a new skill, taking a fitness class, or learning something new – you will always have something to look forward to!
One of the best things you can do for your body and yourself is to eat wholesome, nutritious foods. You can boost your energy and mood, improve your immune system, and maintain mental clarity by incorporating fresh produce, grains, and healthy fats into your diet.
Healthy aging requires more than simply medications and treatments. And self-care involves more than just staying active and eating well; it also requires positive mental health behaviors.
Combined with other resources (help from professionals and loved ones), it will help you age as comfortably, independently, and vibrantly as possible.