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World Mental Health Day: 3 strategies to improve your well-being

Mental health and emotional well-being are critical considerations for our aging population. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental disorder. October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. There are several strategies to help improve your mental health.

Break the cycle of isolation to stay healthy

Loneliness and social isolation (the absence of fulfilling relationships, a sense of belonging, and meaningful social contacts) can lead to poor mental health.. Connecting with others to relive memories and share personal stories can promote self-esteem, provide a sense of fulfillment and comfort, and help people link the past and present. While this has been more challenging to do during the global pandemic, online groups provide an option for older people to stay connected.

Prevent depression with cognitive behaviour therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that aims to identify negative or false thoughts, and replace them with healthier, more positive ones. This allows people to respond to challenging situations more effectively and may help prevent depression.

Enhance mood and well-being with exercise

One of the many benefits of exercise is that it can enhance mood and improve well-being due to endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain that are released when we are active. Incorporating some form of exercise into your day-to-day routine may help to reduce symptoms of depression while promoting a healthier outlook.

 

Although World Mental Health Day is only one day of the year, it’s important to prioritize mental well-being all year-round. Explore our resources below for more information about strategies you can use to treat, manage, and prevent depression and improve your mental well-being.


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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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