- October 12, 2020
- Senior Injuries
Teaching Seniors How To Fight Depression: Plus 5 Healthy Ways To Cope With Depression And Other Life Stressors
There are days that we are affected by life stressors. Encountering uncertainty and setbacks over time can make life challenging. This article will explore physical and mental health, how it’s linked together, and how to overcome mental health issues like depression and other life stressors.
In Episode 27 of The Injured Senior Podcast, Dr. Joe Casciani speaks up about depression. Have you ever felt that you’re seeing all the wrong things or focusing too much on your problems? Dr. Joe Casciani emphasizes that depression is not just due to a chemical imbalance but also a reaction to setbacks that can cause a high-stress level. While a hundred millions of people are affected with depression, there is an estimate of 7 million senior adults who are battling the same condition.
How do we link depression to our physical and mental health? When we encounter bad days, our bodies tend to slow down. In other cases, some people get hotheaded. Every individual, whether young and old has their own reaction to life stressors. Sadly, most people, especially older adults, respond with negative self talk. Negative self-talk is an unhealthy way of coping with challenges, leading to depression and furthering chronic disease due to bad habits.
“A DEPRESSED PERSON WILL ONLY SEE WHAT’S WRONG OR WHAT’S NEGATIVE.” – DR. JOE CASCIANI
In 2014 alone, older adults have more than two chronic conditions. If an aging person was suddenly diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, they might experience high anxiety levels. They might be thinking, “What did I do to deserve this?” or “There seems to be no hope.” This negative thinking goes on and on, and that’s when depression begins. If the depression continues for a long time, how they talk, act, and think will have drastic effects on their daily living.
Dealing with a serious sickness may lead older adults to severe depression, especially if their recovery progress is slow. Other factors include no moral support available from family or loved ones, financial restraints, self-sabotage. If this happens, the physical and mental health of the person is in bad shape. Medicinal and psychological interventions will be needed to treat those who struggle with both states of health.
5 Healthy Ways To Cope With Depression And Other Life Stressors
You don’t have to let the bad days defeat you, physically and mentally. Ditch the negative self-talk by following these healthy ways to combat depression and other life stressors:
- Have a positive mindset – speak kindness and encouragement to yourself. Oftentimes, when problems come our way, we tend to have negative thoughts that our minds conjured. Thinking that “I can’t do this” or “I will probably mess up” will do you no good. When this kind of thought returns, take a deep breath, give yourself a therapeutic butterfly hug, and speak kindness and encouragement. Say: “I can do this” or “I got this!”. Declare it!
- Eat and drink healthily – they say you are what you eat (and drink!). This is true, especially if you are struggling with eating-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and more. If your daily food consumption is filled with poor dietary habits, your physical health is at risk. Keeping your over-all well-being is possible when you are cautious about what goes inside your body. That means no illegal drugs, less unhealthy food, and more greens!
- Exercise regularly – studies say that exercising can elevate mood and minimize stress and anxiety. Physical activity for older adults is achievable. In fact, the CDC recommends that aging adults should do moderate-intensity physical activity. Before conducting any exercise, consult with your doctor first, especially if you have a medical condition. Older adults can walk, jog, take a pilates class, practice yoga chair yoga, or follow resistance band workouts.
- Do what you love – got a knack for painting, gardening, playing musical instruments, and other recreational hobbies? These activities are self-care, plus they also keep your mind preoccupied and your body moving! It’s more fun doing what you love when like-minded people surround you. We all need a support group that shares our hobbies. You should sign yourself up for a painting class or any club that fits your interest!
- Taking a break – older adults who are still working may find themselves burned-out of their jobs. Stress may dwell deeper into depression. Keeping your life balanced with work and play is a must-do to ward off the stress. Aging adults are a hardworking bunch of people, but it doesn’t hurt to take a week off with your family or relatives. Enjoying a well-earned vacation will help your body and mind relax! Remember, you’re not a machine; you’re human.
Physical and Mental Health For Older Adults
You’ve heard about depression and how it has affected millions of lives worldwide, young and old. Both physical and mental health matters even to aging adults. We need to practice looking for what’s positive in any situation and observe our self-talk. After all, we are humans needing to take good care of ourselves.