This past year has been difficult with the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns as they have created many changes to Canadians’ lives as they know it. This is especially true for older adults, who are already more isolated and at a higher risk for complications from the virus.
Managing mental health and talking about it openly has never been more important to ensure people feel connected and supported. Self-care through exercise, meditation and activities can help maintain your mental health and wellbeing.
These five strategies can help strengthen your mental health now and in the long-term.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Research shows that connecting virtually through social apps can improve quality of life and break social isolation. It can also help maintain your mental health by having conversations with family members and friends on a regular basis. While technology will never fully replace human connection, it keeps us emotionally connected when we are physically apart.
Laughter and humour can help during difficult times as they are positive tools that generate positivity in our lives. Evidence suggests that laughter and humour interventions may reduce feelings of sadness and worry in adults and improve sleep quality. Some activities incorporate laughter and humour, such as laughter yoga and watching a funny movie.
Reconnect with your Artistic Interests
Evidence shows that taking part in artistic activities can help improve your overall health and wellbeing. Many of these can be done from home, such as singing, music, painting, drawing, photography and more.
Did you know that when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that positively affects your mental health? Incorporating exercise in your daily routine will help both your body and your brain in staying fit. Many exercises can be done at home with online workouts and minimal equipment, such as Yoga, Pilates and strength training.
Always consult with your primary health care provider before you begin a new exercise regimen.
Take Online Mindfulness-Based Courses
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being in the present moment. There are mindfulness-based programs and courses that you can take online. Research shows small improvements in depression and an increase in wellbeing for those who practice mindfulness.
Strengthening and maintaining your mental wellbeing with any of the above strategies might work for you. Remember to stay connected to others even if you are physically distant.