While our mental powers are sure to dwindle as we age, it doesn’t have to be too extreme to the point we become too forgetful that we are unable to do our usual routines and we end up needing to depend on others. Poor mental health will also lead to depression and an early death.
If you have kids to take care of you in your old age, that’s great but if not, availing high-quality senior care in Houston is available and should be highly considered especially if you’re living somewhere within the vicinity.
Here are great ideas to keep mentally well as you grow older. You’ll be thanking yourself tremendously in your golden years if you incorporate these now into your lifestyle.
Get a dog
If you don’t have a dog right now, please do. Dogs are a great company and will need daily walks, so this will keep you fit physically. Exercise does wonders to the brain as it gets the oxygen it needs to function at an optimal level.
A dog will provide great companionship and friendship, and so you won’t have to deal with loneliness and sadness which are very detrimental to a good mental state.
As you age, you’re likely to have more time on your side. You can use the gift of time to volunteer to causes and advocacies close to your heart. Volunteering is a great way to keep mentally well because you meet and interact with people and you get a sense of accomplishment knowing that you have been a great help to others to improve their lives.
As you age, it’s good to keep on learning, and one area that will continue to evolve is technology. So take time to learn about new technologies, especially those that will help you connect with people and help others. Of course, nothing beats offline relationships but connecting with others online will help you maintain friendships and relationships which are all critical for good mental health.
Yes, have fun! Losing your childlike nature is detrimental to good mental health. It’s essential that you indulge in playing as you grow old. A play could mean playing games with your grandchildren, having fun dates with your spouse or it could be having fun with your pet dog. You can also have fun with games like a jigsaw and crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
Music is a beautiful medium to keep happy and to keep mentally healthy. There are health benefits to playing an instrument, and research shows that it helps stave away dementia. Plus, music is an enjoyable experience that you can do alone or with others.
Learn a new language
Yes, it’s more challenging to learn a language as an adult, but it shouldn’t stop you from learning one. It’ll keep your mind sharp, and it’ll be useful in your travels. Plus, learning a new language will help you make more friends as you can look for people to practice the new language with or those who are studying the language too. When you learn, engage as many senses as you can. Research shows that the more senses you use, more parts of your brain will be involved so that it can retain the memory better. This activity will help keep your mind sharp.
Keep in touch with family and friends
Maintaining relationships with family and friends is key to a long life. It will keep your mental state happy because you’re connecting with people that matter and you’ll be remembering all the good memories as well as making great memories over them through conversations, meals, and activities with them.
Maintain a spiritual connection
Whether it is through religion or private meditation, having a spiritual life is an essential ingredient to happiness and having a good state of mind. The reason is that we’re spiritual beings and we seek a deeper understanding of our lives. Thus, keeping your spirit healthy will keep you mentally engaged with life.
Release your inner artist
Always fancied being a painter? Or how about making arts and crafts? This activity is the perfect opportunity for you to become the artist you’ve always wanted and at the same time keep your mind engaged and healthy as it continues to learn new things. Experiment with different things such as drawing, painting, sculpturing, etc. You can also try digital animation or photography and see which one you enjoy doing. You can then schedule these in regularly in your routine.
Create a system to conserve mental energy
As you age, exerting mental energy gets more tiresome which leads to forgetfulness. So it is critical for you to create systems to conserve your precious mental energy. So use calendars and planners to remember important details and dates. Use address books to keep track of your contacts. Use shopping lists when going to the grocery. Writing things down is a form of memory reinforcement that will help strengthen your neurons and increase it.
You should also decide on a specific place in your home to put your commonly used items like purse, glasses, and keys. This creates a routine for you, and you’ll never have to expend mental energy trying to remember where you placed those things.
Decluttering your home will minimize distractions, and you’ll be able to conserve your mental energy on things that truly need it. It’s easier to spot things and remember with clarity when your environment is clean and not headache inducing.
Eat your greens
As much as possible, try to get fresh vegetables. This means purchasing vegetables when you’re going to cook it instead of storing it in your fridge. Vegetables provide vitamin E, B6 and folic acid that can deter brain cell damage.
Dance your way to good mental health!
Dance is a great way to get neurogenesis going. Neurogenesis is the creation of new brain cells and exercise is a great way to kickstart neurogenesis regularly. If you’re going to exercise, why not choose something that is fun like dancing? It is challenging to your brain because it requires coordination and complex movements. Plus, it works your heart, so your brain gets more oxygen as a result.
Leigh Robinson is a full-time assistant in a company in Houston that provides senior care. During her free time, she reads blogs about the proper way of caring for our elders because they have a special place in her heart since she grew up with her grandma.