Did you look forward to the “golden years” after retirement so you could travel, spend time with family, and engage in your hobbies? Retirement brings about positive changes in many people’s lives, but it is a life transition that can cause significant changes in routine, relationships, and one’s sense of purpose. These life changes can increase the number of worries or stresses that you are facing, which might increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
Whether you are experiencing depression and anxiety or you are looking for ways to avoid these mental health issues, there are a few things that you can do. Right now is a great time to take a proactive approach to protecting your mental health:
1. Maintain Physical Activity
Aches and pains are a normal part of the aging process, and sometimes these problems cause people to slow down and avoid physical activity. But, regular physical activity is essential for both physical and mental health. When you exercise, it boosts certain hormones within the brain that keep a person happy. Incorporate light exercise into your weekly routine at least three times per week. Gardening and walking are great ways to get started.
2. Find a Way to Contribute
Retirement can be a difficult transition if you are used to leaving the house on a daily basis for work or other activities. Look for a new hobby or volunteer opportunity that will utilize your strengths and give you a greater sense of purpose. These things will help by expanding your social network and possibly making someone else’s life better.
3. Talk with a Doctor
In addition to making healthy lifestyle changes, it is essential that you talk with your doctor about how you are feeling. He or she can assess your symptoms and make a determination about the best treatment options. A referral to a mental health professional can be helpful, which could include talk therapy and/or medication therapy. The important thing is take steps to get help.
Here at Windward Life Care, we offer assistance for older adults and their families. These resources can be beneficial to give you the support that you are searching for during the later years of life. If you need help finding a qualified mental health professional experience in working with older adults, we can help. Contact us today and we will gladly answer your questions.