May is mental health awareness month, so in honor of it, we are dedicating this blog to self-care tips to slow down time and feel better mentally!
You’re only as old as you feel.
Age is just a number.
Young at heart.
You’ve probably heard all of those cliches before, but they’re easy to brush off. The fact is, there is more truth to them than you might think. Aging is so much more than just a physical process.
There are plenty of things you can do to slow down the hands of time from a physical standpoint so you can continue to look and feel your best. But, taking care of your mind is necessary when it comes to longevity, too.
So, how can you practice self-care that makes your mental health a priority, and how can it impact the aging process?
Change Your Daily Habits
One of the best ways to practice self-care every day is to make small adjustments to the things you already do. That includes your sleeping habits, eating habits, and physical activity.
Unfortunately, sleep disorders are fairly common in older adults. You might have trouble falling asleep, or you might wake up frequently throughout the night. Not getting enough sleep is more than just an annoyance. It can lead to serious health complications and can increase your risk of developing depression. Talking to your doctor about any sleep problems you’re having is a good place to start. But, you can also change some of your sleeping habits, including:
- Going to bed at the same time each night
- Creating the right environment for sleep
- Avoiding electronics an hour before bed
- Limiting caffeine consumptions
- Avoiding naps throughout the day
In addition to keeping you mentally and physically healthy, getting enough rest can also boost your energy and give you what you need to stay physically active each day. Exercise is a natural way to improve your mood, and a necessity to prevent some early signs of aging. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of moderate to intense aerobic activity, and find physical activities you enjoy so you’ll stick with it.
Finally, consider making some dietary changes. Not only will limiting processed foods and saturated fats benefit your physical health, but focusing on healthy fats, lean meats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables can improve your mood and help you to age gracefully.
Evaluate Your Surroundings
Did you know that your environment can have a major impact on your mental health? If you’re constantly feeling stressed or you simply don’t feel inspired by where you are, make some changes. Your environment includes everything from the general aesthetic of a room to the people you spend the most time with.
You can start by making changes to your home decor. Changing your home atmosphere to something that makes you feel calm is a great way to practice self-care and enjoy it every day. The arrangement of a room, the utilization of space, the lighting, and even the color can make a big difference in how you feel. Choose things that inspire you and bring a sense of calm. You can change every room in your house to fit a specific theme or evoke a different emotion. Taking on that kind of project can be a form of self-care on its own. But, you get to reap the rewards forever!
In addition to your physical surroundings, think about the people you surround yourself with. Mental health problems can be a big risk for older adults, even if they shouldn’t be a normal part of the aging process.
Making sure you have people in your life who will support you and be a listening ear is important. If there are individuals who seem intent to bring you down, criticize you, or cause conflict in your life, it could be time to let them go. Taking care of yourself involves building up a support system. Chances are, you have a few people in mind already who you know you can trust and turn to for anything. Spend more time with them, and let them know how much they matter.
Indulge and Splurge When It’s Necessary
Because “self-care” has become a bit of a buzzword, many people think it means you have to go out and buy expensive jewelry, a new car, or treat yourself to a trip around the world.
That simply isn’t the case. Self-care is mostly about little things you can do every day to focus on your wellbeing. That could include things like:
- Cooking your favorite meal
- Reading a good book
- Watching one of your favorite movies
- Creating a “spa day” at home and pampering your skin
There are, however, instances in which it’s perfectly okay to splurge a little. Have you developed a travel bug and you haven’t been able to go anywhere because of the pandemic? It’s okay to treat yourself to a plane ticket, or a weekend road trip with someone you love.
Are you struggling with self-image issues as you age? If so, it’s your prerogative to consider different plastic surgery procedures. Cosmetic surgery has seen a surge throughout the pandemic. It could be due to things like Zoom meetings making people hyper-aware of their appearance. Others realize they have more downtime to recover.
Whatever the case, if you’ve considered plastic surgery in the past but have put it off, now could be a perfect time. Even a simple procedure like Botox has seen a 64% increase during the pandemic. One procedure could completely change the way you feel about yourself and boost your esteem.
Young At Heart
Taking care of your mental health as you age is crucial. Not only can it give your physical health a boost, but as the old saying goes, “you’re only as old as you feel”. With less stress and a positive outlook on life, you can feel “young at heart” and happy for many years to come.
How do you take care of yourself and your mental health with self-care? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page.
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