Mental wellness is not only correlated with depression or a lack of a mental disorder. Achieving mental wellness means knowing how to cope with certain altering events, productivity, overall happiness, and the ability to make positive changes for the world and community around you.
Senior mental wellness becomes even more essential when you consider the many health benefits (physical and mental) that are associated with mental wellness. Did you know that maintaining your mental wellness and staying mentally active can reduce the risk of dementia? Not only can living mentally well help reduce health risks, but it can also provide you with a more satisfying lifestyle and experiences.
Why is Mental Wellness Important?
Achieving mental wellness is important to your mental state of mind, as well as the physical health of your body. Senior mental wellness is crucial to retirement life as it helps with your overall mood and how you view the world around you.
Although it’s not often thought of, mental health and wellness have an impact on our physical health and vice versa. For example, older adults with health conditions such as heart disease have higher rates of depression than those who are physically healthy.
We encourage you to read our Silver Comet Village blog, Understanding Depression and the Senior Population, to learn more.
Mental Wellness Through Exercise
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, physical exercise is the most natural way of overcoming feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. While it’s easier to recognize the physical health benefits of exercise, it comes with a plethora of mental health benefits, as well.
Researchers of another study found that physical exercise can improve brain function. During the study, they monitored adults aged 50 and older participating in different types of physical activities. The study found that exercises such as aerobics can help improve cognitive function, while resistance training exercises enhanced a person’s executive function and memory. Overall, the study concluded that “physical exercise improved cognitive function in the over 50s, regardless of the cognitive status of participants.”
Mental Wellness and Diet
One step that helps every aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle is your diet. An unhealthy diet can impact your state of wellness – mentally and physically.
Researchers in Greece found that a Mediterranean diet was associated with a decreased risk of developing symptoms of depression or developing depression later in life. The Mediterranean diet focuses on:
- Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, olive oil, and herbs and spices
- Fish and seafood a couple of times a week
- Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation
In addition, the diet believes in getting plenty of physical activity (see point above!) and enjoying meals with family, friends, and neighbors (see point below!).
Social Connectivity and Mental Health
Humans, by nature, are social creatures. We seek social interaction; whether it be a lot or a little, it is crucial to our mental wellness. Social connectivity can help reduce stress, the risk of depression, and anxiety. According to the American Journal of Public Health, socialization can help prevent memory and cognitive decline. Achieving mental wellness through social connectivity can be as easy as inviting friends over for a get-together, joining a local support group, or finding a senior living community, like Silver Comet Village, that hosts engaging social activities.
Social connectivity is a vital part of living a healthy and mentally well lifestyle. At Silver Comet Village in Powder Springs, Georgia, we provide our residents with opportunities to connect, socialize, and truly enjoy a healthier style of retirement. Our Legacy program helps our residents share their stories and connect with other residents in our community!
The Value of Nature and Fresh Air
The value of nature and what it can do for our mental wellness is vast. Fresh air and nature are so important to our mental wellness that people have begun to seek it out as a form of treatment called ecotherapy. Ecotherapy has been shown to help reduce anxiety, stress, feelings of anger, and can help us feel more relaxed.
Our community is located near the beautiful Silver Comet Trail, and we frequently host excursions to help maintain a healthy and adventurous lifestyle! One full of genuine community, friends, meaningful activities, and enjoyment.