Mental Health Awareness Matters As We Age
Mental health is something to pay attention to in all stages of life. When you reach your 50’s, expectations and regret may begin to take a toll on your self-perception. Some men go through an existential crisis, questioning if their life has purpose or value as they inch closer to the great beyond.
As important as this realization may be, you have to remind yourself that there’s still a long way to go. During times like these, you may even experience an epiphany about your life resulting in a new level of maturity. Sometimes this type of mid-life crisis can trigger depression. Below are some tips that can help you maintain good mental health.
Coping With Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress is one of the main causes of heart disease, chronic back pain, obesity, diabetes and several other serious health concerns. Stress may also adversely affect your immune system. It is important you find constructive ways to relax. Exercising, spending time in nature and hanging out with supportive and optimistic loved ones are all great ways to help you not sweat the small (and large) stuff. However you find success managing your stress levels is up to you, but the possibilities are endless!
Seeking Out New Relationships
Single men 50 and older, particularly if they are single due to divorce or death of their spouse, may experience intense feelings of loneliness. It is possible that they feel that they have no one with whom to share their most intimate thoughts and feelings. Whether someone is ready or looking for a new romantic relationship is very much a personal decision, but seeking out new friendships and staying open to the possibility of a new relationship can help alleviate those feelings of loneliness.
Finding Your Focus
Men who are having a hard time concentrating can benefit from activities that help quiet the mind. One of these practices is mindfulness, or training oneself to stay fully present in the moment using techniques like meditation and breath awareness. The many benefits of mindful practice include reduced anxiety, improved focus and concentration, better sleep, and reduction in the symptoms of depressions.
Healing from Depression
Many men are reluctant to admit they’re dealing with depression. If and when they do, they have a tendency to emphasize physical symptoms rather than emotional ones. Symptoms of depression run the gamut—from fatigue, insomnia, irritability and loss of interest in normal daily activities to feelings of despair, worthlessness, and significant weight loss or gain. If symptoms last longer than two weeks, seek help from your primary care physician or a mental health professional. Depression is very treatable, often with a combination of medication and/or counseling. For more healthy tips on mental health check out this article.
More ways to ease symptoms and help you overcome depression include:
- Exerce regularly in the gym or outdoors. Ideally you should aim for at least a half-hour daily, five or more times per week.
- Put your energy into giving back to causes and people that matter to you. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose that is bigger than you, and take the focus off of you and put it on helping others.
- Keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel up to it.
- Reaching out to trusted family members and friends—go to a ballgame, restaurant, movie or even take a weekend road trip adventure with a good buddy.
- Get plenty of sleep. The importance of good sleep helps both your physical and mental health
- Play with your pet.
- Listen to music.
- Eat well and practice good self-care habits.
- Challenge your negative thoughts.