Spring is finally here, which means it is time for fresh starts. Whether that be spring cleaning or planning outdoor activities, one especially important thing is checking in on your mental health—especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over have a mental health disorder. Mental health has an impact on physical fitness and vice versa. For example, older adults with physical health conditions such as heart disease have higher rates of depression than those who are healthy. Additionally, untreated depression in an older person with heart disease can negatively affect its outcome.
April is Stress Awareness Month, so below are a few ways to check in with your stress and mental health levels:
Take a Quick Step Back
One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to step back and evaluate the source. Try to find coping mechanisms such as taking a walk, unplugging from technology, or meditating to silence the mind.
There are several apps and online resources that you can use to check in with your mental health, such as Moodfit and Headspace.
Another way to battle the effects of stress is to exercise. Whether you’re a jogger, bicyclist, or just like to take long walks, adding some form of movement and fresh air will make a tremendous difference.
Talk to Someone
Whether it is a friend, family member or therapist, sometimes you need to give a voice to how you are feeling. Talk to your health care provider about your feelings and they can provide a recommendation on how to move forward.