Mental Health Awareness Week runs October 2-8, meaning it’s a good time to take stock of your mental health as a senior and key in to how to handle depression and enjoy good mental health.
Congress designated the first week of October as National Mental Health Awareness Week in 1990. This year’s theme for the week is “What I Wish I Had Known,” with the goal of focusing on the power of lived experience.
Each working day of the week is a time to talk about things that could have helped people struggling with their mental health sooner. Here’s is the schedule:
—Monday, October 3, is “Stigma”
—Tuesday, October 4, is “Medication” (National Day of Prayer for mental illness recovery and understanding
—Wednesday, October 5, is “Therapy”
—Thursday, October 6, is “Disclosing” (National Depression Screening Day)
—Friday, October 7, is “Caregiving”
Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists healthy ways to cope with stress. Finding a healthy way to cope with stress starts with taking care of your body.
Here are the CDC’s examples for taking care of your body and mind with physical activity, sleep and eating:
—Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
—Eat healthy meals. This includes an emphasis on eating foods high in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cutting back on your intake of sodium, processed foods, and sugary food and drinks.
—Be physically active. Studies have shown a link between physical activity and reduced anxiety, as well as improved sleep and better brain function. Long-term physical activity also shows improvements in lowering anxiety, better sleep, and better brain functions.
—Get plenty of sleep. To sleep better, go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time in the morning. Have a quiet, dark, relaxing room at a comfortable temperature to sleep in. Don’t have electronic devices in your room. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed. Exercise during the day.
—Avoid alcohol, or at a minimum drink in moderation. This means two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less per day for women.
—Avoid misusing prescription opioids and mixing them with other drugs or opioids.
—Don’t use tobacco products.
Other Tips from the CDC
The CDC has other tips on good mental health that include:
—Making time to unwind. Do activities you enjoy.
—Connecting with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling.
—Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.
—Take a “news break.” Don’t watch the news if it stresses you out! Being informed is good, but it’s not good to be constantly upset. As an alternative, spend time with friends or loved ones, play games, or exercise.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!