Five self-care strategies to support your mental wellbeing

Mental illness can affect individuals of any age, including older adults. Common mental illnesses include depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety may stem from a stressful working environment or from loneliness or social isolation. These mental health issues affect physical health, emotional and social well-being, and overall quality of life. Supporting mental health is a critical consideration to the healthy aging process. The good news is, in addition to the treatments recommended by your doctor, the following self-care strategies may help:

1.     Stay active - Exercise can help to reduce the symptoms of depression

2.     Practice mindfulness - Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy helps to prevent relapses among people with recurring depression

3.     Share memories - Reminiscing in groups led by a trained program facilitator can help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression

4.     Companion animals and animal-assisted therapies - Companion animals and animal-assisted therapies can improve the physical and mental health of older adults, and animal-assisted therapies appear promising to alleviate loneliness among older adults

5.     Participate in the community - Community activities such as volunteering promote a sense of accomplishment, breaks isolation, improves physical and psychological health, and reduces some of the negative stereotypes associated with aging

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