Mental wellness is a staple of our health, and the older we get, the more important it becomes. Of course, evaluating your mental health isn’t necessarily easy to do as it doesn’t have as many noticeable signs as your physical well-being.
Franklin Park® Senior Living has a variety of retirement communities in San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding areas, and we understand the importance of maintaining mental wellness and health.
Did you know January is Mental Wellness Month? We want to provide a few tips on how to improve your mental wellness so you can start the year off right!
1. Evaluate Your Nutrition and Eating Habits
Though psychological nutrition is a relatively new field of study, research is being done to show the true benefits of a healthy diet. In the words of Eva Selhub from Harvard University, “like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel.” Diet is important, and studies are supporting the theories and reinforcing the old saying, “you are what you eat.”
Research has also shown that, when coupled with physical activity, maintaining a traditional Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of serious mental and physical health problems, such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease. A Mediterranean diet typically consists of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil.
2. Stay Physically Active
Physical health and wellness are important at every age. While there can be many visible benefits of exercise (weight loss, muscle definition, etc.), exercise also has hidden benefits to one’s mental health. One study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health believes that exercise may have similar effects as an antidepressant, without the side effects.
This isn’t to say antidepressants aren’t necessary or that exercise is a cure-all, but it does have evidence to back up its benefits towards mental wellness. The full study states that running for 15 minutes daily can reduce the risk of depression by up to 26%.
Exercise should be about finding a routine that fits your interests and one you find enjoyable. We recommend speaking with your primary physician to determine an exercise regimen that works best for you.
3. Keep Your Mind Sharp
Mental exercises are an important part of senior mental wellness. While your brain may not be considered a muscle, you should treat it as such and work it out! Reading books, completing puzzles, painting, writing, and other creative hobbies stimulate the brain. This stimulation is needed to keep our minds sharp and healthy.
Picking up a new hobby or learning a new skill can be fun as well. Retirement is the perfect time to try and experience new things!
4. Socialize and Build Relationships
Feeling connected to a community, and feeling accepted and welcomed, are ways to promote mental health. For most, it is human nature to socialize and connect with others. There have been positive correlations between social interactions and health, and organizations like Connect2Affect have been leading the forefront on this issue, stating that social interaction is necessary to increase/maintain longevity.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we encourage our residents to socialize by scheduling diverse and engaging activities. Franklin Park® is changing the way retirement communities in San Antonio, Texas, operate by giving our residents an unparalleled experience full of meaningful engagement, upscale amenities, exceptional dining, and worry-free living!
If you are interested in learning more about our retirement communities in the San Antonio area, we invite you to find your ideal Franklin Park® community!