Tips & Insights

Managing Anxiety and Depression as a Senior

Managing Anxiety and Depression as a Senior | A Chronic Voice

It’s unfortunately very common for seniors to experience anxiety and depression. An in-home elderly care professional pointed out that anxiety and depression are especially common in seniors that have recently lost a significant other, friends and family, or if they are dealing with an ailment or illness that doesn’t let them live their life the way that they want. It’s common for seniors to not know what to do when it comes to managing these emotions; especially if their anxiety and depression are not severe enough to go on medication.

If you or a loved one are dealing with anxiety or depression as a senior, learning some helpful tips to manage it is worth your while, this post details some easy ways that you can combat these emotions as an elderly person.

Tips for Handling Mental Health as an Elderly Person

If your anxiety or depression is severe and you can not live your everyday life because of it, it’s important to talk to a doctor to find out the best form of treatment. However, if your anxiety and depression are mild, or you do not want to go on medication, learning other ways to deal with these emotions is important. Here are some tips to handle your mental health in your golden years:

Talk to People

Talking to people is perhaps the best way to combat these negative emotions. Talking to people can mean talking to a therapist, a loved one, or even a friend; and it doesn’t have to be about your anxiety or depression – it can be about anything. Talking to people is a great way to boost positive emotions and deter negative ones. Talking to people in your life will keep your mind distracted and will keep you from isolating yourself.

Whether you want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling or you just want to talk about current events or something that you’re passionate about, talking to people will help you get your thoughts out in the open. If you do in fact want to talk about your feelings of anxiety and depression, talk to someone that will be able to help you through these daunting emotions and trying times.

Find a Hobby or a Fun Activity

A new hobby or a fun activity is a great way to boost your happiness and will result in lessening your feelings of anxiety and depression. Hobbies and activities that you find interesting will give you something to look forward to and they will take your mind off your emotions. Here are some new hobbies and interesting activities to try:

  • Start crafting
  • Join a book club
  • Daily walks with neighborhood friends
  • Start a blog
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Visit state parks
  • Garden
  • Get a museum membership

These activities and potential hobbies are all great ways to keep you active and engaged in something rewarding; lessening your feelings of anxiety and depression.

Adopt a Pet

If you have recently lost a loved one or a friend/family member, it’s likely that you are dealing with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, this is a common issue that seniors deal with as they age. There are very few ways to deal with this kind of hardship, however, adopting a pet may be part of a way to deal with these emotions. 

Whether it is a dog, cat, or any other kind of animal, adopting a pet will give you something positive in your life and something that provides an incentive to get up every morning. Pets, especially dogs and cats, will need to be played with, fed, and cared for, giving you something to preoccupy yourself with, allowing you to turn your mind away from your negative emotions. Pets will also provide companionship, affection, and comfort, making your emotions as bearable as possible.

Keep Your Mind Stimulated

It’s crucial that you keep your mind stimulated as you are experiencing these emotions. Keeping your mind stimulated will focus your attention on productive things rather than your anxiety and depression. Here are some ways to keep your mind stimulated:

  • Read books on topics you are passionate about
  • Watch documentaries
  • Do puzzles; both physical and virtual ones
  • Invest in mind-stimulating apps
  • Visit friends and family
  • Travel
  • Visit national parks
  • Join a fitness class
  • Treat Your Mental Health Accordingly

It’s important for seniors to treat their mental health accordingly in order to get the most out of life. One will not be able to practice health and wellness if he or she does not treat his or her mental health. If you or a loved one are struggling with mild anxiety and depression as a senior, keep these tips in mind in order to practice positive self-care.

*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

Read More: Tips & Tools to Help Regain Independence with a Disability or Chronic Illness

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Contributor Bio

Kelsey Simpson

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

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