Taking care of your mental health

As we navigate the later stages of life, it's so important that we nurture our mental health with the same care and attention we give to our physical wellbeing. The two are intrinsically linked - a healthy, resilient mindset can work wonders for our overall vitality and, conversely, poor mental health and stress can lead to poor physical health, including some auto-immune diseases and cancers.

Not only that, but poor mental health tends to increase unhealthy behaviours such as avoiding social situations, increased time sitting, and excessive alcohol use, which then create a vicious circle, and lead to even poorer physical and mental health.

The good news is there are many fulfilling ways we can fortify our emotional resilience as we grow older. In this newsletter, we'll explore some top tips to keep your mind sharp, your mood uplifted, and your spirit soaring.

Breathe & Meditate
Feeling anxious or overwhelmed? Take a few moments to pause and practice some deep breathing or a gentle meditation. These mindfulness techniques can have a profoundly calming effect, lowering stress hormones and putting your mind at ease. Try incorporating even just 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises or meditation into your daily routine. If you're someone who finds it difficult to meditate, there are a wealth of guided meditations on youtube nowadays, or you could also try the Headspace app.

If you are not familiar with breathing exercises, our Relax & Restore class is the perfect class for you - a mix of breathing techniques, gentle stretching, muscle release and short meditations.

Seek Professional Support
If you're struggling with persistent mental health challenges like depression or anxiety, please don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified therapist or counselor. These trained professionals can provide personalised guidance and evidence-based treatments to help you navigate difficult emotions and cultivate greater inner peace.

It is very important to let go of any shame that you may have regarding seeing a mental health professional. We have all experienced stressors and / or traumas in our lives, and we can all benefit greatly from receiving the help of professionals to help deal with the lasting impacts.

Some also feel that the expense is not worth it. However, consider whether you would tell yourself the same thing about seeing a doctor if you had a broken leg or a serious disease. Your brain is no different to any other part of your body, and in fact, is probably the most important!

Work with a Health Coach
In addition to mental health specialists, consider partnering with a holistic health coach (such as Nicola) who can provide a more comprehensive, wellness-focused approach. A good coach can help you develop personalised strategies to boost your physical, mental, and emotional vitality through nutrition, building new habits, and empowering lifestyle changes.

Stay Connected & Engaged
Feeling socially isolated is a major risk factor for cognitive decline and poor mental health. Make it a priority to stay connected with family, friends, and your community. Join a club, volunteer, or simply schedule regular video chats with loved ones. Interacting with others is food for the soul.

Embrace a Positive Mindset
Our outlook on life has a profound impact on our mental health. Try to laugh often, practice mindfulness, and focus on the things you can control rather than worrying about the things you can't. A little positivity can go a long way!

While it's not always easy, try to maintain an optimistic, grateful attitude. Some really benefit from keeping a gratitude journal, each day writing down each day three things you are grateful for. You can also practice with a friend or family member, sending a text to each other every day rather than writing in a journal. Having a partner in any kind of healthy activity makes it more likely that you will continue, and it is also a heart-warming practice to share with a loved one.

Get Moving
Regular physical activity isn't just good for your body - it's also fantastic for your mental health. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins which leave you feeling positive for hours afterwards. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days, whether it's a brisk walk, swimming laps, or our wonderful Vital Flow class.

Remember, you have the power to shape your mental health and your experience of ageing. With a few simple lifestyle tweaks, plus the support of mental health professionals when needed, you can ensure this time of your life is the best time of your life.

If you have any questions about any of the above, or would like a referral to a mental health professional, please reach out to us. We are here for you.