6 emotional wellness tips for seniors

We all know practicing good habits can help improve our physical fitness, but did you know the same goes for our mental fitness? According to Mood Disorders Society of Canada, it's estimated that 5 to 10 per cent of seniors will experience serious depression in some form that requires treatment. Therefore, it's extremely important to monitor your overall mental and emotional health on a regular basis. Stay positive, dedicate some time to yourself and consider a few of these simple ways to improve your mental fitness and emotional wellness.

1. Cope with negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can be extremely overwhelming and detrimental to your spirit, so it's important to find a way to overcome them. Don't just ignore them—instead, turn them into action items when possible. Doing so will help you resist dwelling on an issue and direct you more toward correcting it.

"Regular exercise can reduce anxiety and depression."

2. Exercise
Regular exercise can improve the overall wellness of your body, but it can also benefit you mentally by reducing anxiety and depression. Consider grabbing a friend and heading to the fitness center for a group class to curb any feelings of loneliness and isolation.

3. Take life one step at a time
Start Talking Canada suggests making it a habit to do one thing at a time. For example, when spending time with friends, don't bring any distractions along, and try not to look at your cell phone so you're present in the moment. 

4. Set goals
Setting goals for yourself—whether they're extravagant or simple—can help improve your overall mental wellbeing and confidence. Next time you pick up a book, set a date you hope to finish it by. Or, commit to trying a new activity or group class.

Set simple goals like completing a book sooner than usual.
Set simple goals like completing a book sooner than usual.

5. Write down your thoughts
Keeping a journal can help you voice negative and stressful thoughts. Start Talking Canada says expressing yourself can help you gain perspective and release tension throughout the week. After a bad day, consider writing your feelings down and countering it with a positive, motivating thought for a better tomorrow.

6. Volunteer
Volunteering is a double positive: helping others can also make you feel better about yourself, and it also gets you socially active, which can help defeat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Consider volunteering with a friend over the weekend.