Our Top Five Tips To Help With Your Loved Ones Mental Wellbeing
The mental health charity Mind, predicts that one in four people will experience problems with their mental health in the UK each year. Campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week can be extremely effective in helping people explore and discuss the issues surrounding mental health. They also can provide the help and support needed to help fight the stigma that often discourages many people from getting the help they need.
We understand that experiencing issues with mental health can be incredibly distressing. This is especially the case for people as they get older. As your loved ones get older they can become much more susceptible to mental health problems for a number of reasons. These can include recent losses, a sense of loneliness and struggles with their health.
To help, we’ve put together our top five tips to help anyone who is struggling with their mental health.
Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for your physical health. It is also one of the most effective ways of improving your mental health. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which can have a positive impact on our mood, self-esteem and well-being. It can also be extremely effective at combating illness such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and much more.
As we get older, exercise covers a real variety of tasks. Whether you go for a light jog around the block, a short walk down by the seaside or do some simple seated exercises – physical activity can act as a huge enhancement on our mental wellbeing.
Listening to music causes your brain to release the feel-good chemical called Dopamine. Dopamine is an important chemical messenger in the brain that has many functions. It’s involved in reward, motivation, memory, attention and even regulating body movements. By listening to music that you enjoy, this chemical can enhance your mood, help stimulate a more positive state of mind and reduce stress levels.
Recent studies have even shown how listening to music, especially singing, can be effective in helping people with depression and dementia.
Sometimes, the best way to express our feelings and understand them is to write them down. This can be in the form of a diary/journal or letters to loved ones. Journals are particularly effective in not only allowing us to express our feelings, but also record happy feelings and memories we have experienced. This can be especially helpful on those not-so-good days or when a loved one simply needs to be reminded of those good days
Now, this might sound obvious, but sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. Sleep and health are strongly related – poor sleep can increase the risk of having poor health, and poor health can make it harder to sleep. Sleep disturbances can be one of the first signs of distress. Common mental health problems like anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems.
On average, adults should get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, try some of these tips to help you settle at night.
5. Create A Peaceful Space
As you get older, it is important to create a peaceful, comforting space for your loved one, where they can block out the noise and regather their thoughts. This space can be a bedroom, living room, local cafe or park. This space can act as a safety blanket throughout the difficult times.
In a care home, this would normally take the shape of your loved one’s bedroom, so try to create a space where you know they will feel calm and peaceful. You could try bringing in their favourite photos, chairs and cushions etc. Having the knowledge that this space exists can bring them peace of mind and help reduce worries.