As well as taking care of our bodies physically, we must make sure we are looking after our minds as we get older. Mental health is important throughout every stage of our lives, but it can be forgotten about when getting older as we focus on the changes our bodies are faced with. The Mental Health Organisation has reported depression being the most common mental health problem many of us face as we get older. Luckily, there are steps we can take to maintain a positive, healthy well-being. From keeping in touch with friends, taking up a hobby or keeping active (even if you have limited mobility) with the help of a walking stick or portable wheelchair.
We have gathered some of the ways in which you can look after your mental health as you get older.
Keeping active is an excellent way to keep both your body and mind healthy. Exercising regularly can have a great number of benefits like improving your self-esteem, or promoting a good sleeping pattern.
Maintaining an active lifestyle does not have to mean going to the gym or engaging in rigorous workouts. It can be other enjoyable activities such as taking walks, gardening or even joining activity groups such as art or music classes. (keep in mind that our target audience is people with limited mobility) This all promotes a better state of mind and quality of life.
Getting out and about, from a family day out to a short walk can also make the world of difference. If you struggle with limited mobility, utilising a mobility aid such as a foldable portable wheelchair can remove some of the obstacles or worries you may have about going out.
Remember to relax
In addition to physical activity, it is recommended to keep your mind also active with activities like reading books, playing games like chess or bingo, you can even join a course and learn a new skill you are interested in.
It is also important to create balance where you have time to relax and take time to yourself. You can choose to relax by doing an activity you are aware makes you calm or explore a handful of techniques that include mediation, mindfulness or journaling. Making sure you take time to relax can benefit your mental health by improving your concentration and mood in addition to a range of other health benefits like lowering blood pressure.
You’ll be aware of how Covid19 and previous lockdown restrictions affected everyone’s social life. Now more than ever, it is important to get back into socialising and extend your social groups as safely as possible. Interacting with others can be very beneficial in looking after our mental health as it boosts our emotions positively and decreases negative emotions like depression. You can socialise by visiting friends and family or using video calls as a way to stay in touch which can aid you in maintaining relationships. As previously mentioned, joining groups of your interest can be another way to interact with others who have similar interests and make new friends.
Your physical health doesn’t have to stop you from travelling to see friends or family. Even if you use a mobility aid, travelling and using public transport with a portable wheelchair is still very much possible.
Confide in others
Whilst interacting with others, it is also important to look after your mental health by confiding in those you trust with any difficulties you may be going through. Loneliness and social isolation is very common in older adults so having the support from your loved ones and places to vent can allow you to feel better and release negative emotions which can be harmful when kept inside.
Utilise support services
It is also important to access support services when necessary to get the right resources from professionals. If you feel you need more support with your mental health is it advised you contact your GP as they should be able to provide you with different ways to support you. The NHS and other charities also provide useful mental health resources for older people.
Use it or lose it
When living with limited mobility, maintaining self-reliance where and when possible is key to keeping your independence and a positive mental attitude.
A portable wheelchair like Traveller Chair encourages self-reliance and provides reliable assistance, but only when required. The clever mechanism means you can continue to embark on trips and do the activities that you love with no compromise. Fold it away and use it as a suitcase when feeling up to exploring, open out to a chair when you feel you can no longer manage a part of the journey and need a rest.
There are plenty of ways to improve your mental health as you get older and ensure positive wellbeing and quality of life. Even with limited mobility, there is help available to keep you active and enjoying life.
Don’t let poor mobility obstacles stop you from taking that trip. Going from case to chair in just 30 seconds – Traveller Chair is ‘with you all the way’ from drop off to pick up.