Are you unhappy? Feeling alone or blue? You’re not alone. Depression and poor mental health have become increasingly common in today’s world. According to dosomething.org, more than 43 million Americans struggle with mental illness. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Because they may experience many challenges in their lives, older adults are often a group that struggles the most with depression and poor mental health. They’re often less able to get out of their homes as well as they used to, which may lead to increased isolation. They may also begin to reflect on their lives, which can possibly cause regrets. In addition, they may begin to experience loss of their peers by old age. There’s a lot going on in the world of older adults that can affect how they feel.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
To stave off the blues, it is important to take care of your mental health. That means taking time for you, making good choices in your everyday life and surrounding yourself with positive people who nurture your well-being. We’ve put together a few tips that will help you improve your mental health. Below are some tips for improved mental health that are easy to apply in your life, helping you stay positive, connected and mentally well in the following years.
Keep a Journal
Sometimes putting your thoughts down on paper can help you sort through them and make sense of any doubts, confusion or depressed feelings you may be experiencing. Journaling also helps you boost your sense of well-being, working both the left side of your brain (the analytical side) and the right side of your brain (the creative side). Sometimes just writing about what’s going on in your life, how you feel about it and what you can do to mitigate any confusing, scary or anxiety-producing feelings can help.
Some of the best mental health advice is to try to start your journaling with statements like “I want” or “I feel.” Keep your thoughts in the present tense and take a deep dive into those feelings. Investigate why you feel the way you do and how these feelings can be minimized. For example, if you’re experiencing anxiety about an upcoming social get-together or a class reunion, you can start by recognizing and writing down those thoughts, such as, “I’m feeling anxious about my 50th class reunion because I am nervous about seeing old acquaintances and friends after so many years.” Then, acknowledge the fears you have about the situation: “I’m afraid I won’t have anyone to sit with,” or “I’m afraid I will be judged by what I have done, or haven’t done, in my life.” After reflecting on everything that you’re afraid of, you can create solutions for those fears that can help you deflect them, reducing their effect. “I can reach out to a couple of old friends and make plans to meet them before any events, so I won’t be alone.”
Purchasing a pretty or colorful journal can make this self-reflective journey more exciting, too. Check out our journals at Miles Kimball for a convenient place to jot your feelings, your fears and your thoughts, making sense out of them and making them more manageable.
Knitting, Sewing or Crocheting
Much has been made of mindfulness and the importance of quieting our minds. The act of sitting and focusing on the task at hand can be soothing and can stave off those depressive thoughts. In crocheting and knitting, the act of counting rows and stitches can be soothing in itself: at that moment, nothing else matters except for that row, that stitch and that loop. These quiet yet creative activities also let you have that selfish “me” time, which for some can be difficult, especially when so much of our lives have been spent taking care of others.
Think of knitting, sewing or crocheting as a mental health exercise. Crafts also take time away from your phone, tablet or other devices, all which have been proven to be detrimental to our brains and our mental health. Miles Kimball has a great selection of sewing, knitting and other crafting essentials, such as sewing machines, organizational items for hobbyists and fun gifts for those who love to craft.
Clutter is proven to drag us down. The opposite, a neat, clean and organized space, is also proven to help boost our moods. Not knowing where you put your keys, your remote or a book can be stress inducing. Leaving items laying around can also lead to slips and falls. Having a lot of clutter around you is also bad for your allergies: knick-knacks are notorious dust collectors. In addition, people who live with a lot of clutter can be self-conscious about it. This can lead to keeping visitors, guests and family members at arms’ length, and can quickly lead to isolation.
Sometimes staying organized is easier said than done, however, especially if you are limited on storage space and lack handy organization items. Sometimes just incorporating some simple yet clever items to improve your storage can help you get your home in order. Miles Kimball has a great selection of unique storage and organization items that can help! Over the door storage racks can help eliminate clutter on the floors of your closets, in your pantries and in your linen closets. Shelf dividers can help organize towels, clothing and other items. Wooden shoe racks can help keep your shoes organized and will prevent them from becoming scattered all over the floor. When you’re seeking to become more organized, Miles Kimball has great storage and organization solutions!
Stay Mentally Healthy and Happy
Caring for mental health isn’t always easy, but it is 100% worth it. With our easy solutions to help boost your mood and to help care for yourself, you can stay mentally healthy and happy for years to come!