8 Natural Mood Boosters for Seniors
Healthy Aging | 04/26/21
While it may be tempting to ask for a medication when you feel blue or a little “off,” there are several natural mood boosters that are all tried-and-true ways to improve your outlook, energy and general well-being. Below we’ve put together a list of eight mood boosters worth making a regular part of your routine. Get ready to get happy.
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- Fresh Air + Sunshine — Studies have shown that exposure to nature — for example, in a garden or park — can enhance psychological well-being, lower blood pressure, and slow down your heart rate. Even spending just 20 minutes outside can instantly boost mood and energy levels. Sunshine also supplies vitamin D, critical to fending off depression and cognitive impairment.
- Activity = Endorphins — Getting your heart rate up is a great way to increase endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals while reducing production of the stress hormone cortisol. While cortisol isn’t all bad, it can contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, among other issues. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and incorporate various forms of movement, including cardio, resistance training and balance exercises.
- Relax to Restore — Put aside those perceptions of yoga … you might just love it. These days, there are in-person and online classes geared for older adults that gently address pain, joint stress, imbalance, osteoarthritis, and other physical limitations that can occur in later years. Plus, it helps reduce blood pressure and anxiety thanks to the mindful breathing and self-calming aspects of the routines. Best of all, you can do yoga on your own anytime.
- Exercise Your Brain — If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, you’re always just a click away from a brain-boosting game app. Or you can go old school and test your brain skills with crossword puzzles, word puzzles and number games. Just do it! Brain exercises lessen your risk of dementia and keep your reasoning, memory, cognition and processing skills sharp. Try to fit in at least 30 minutes a day of brain work.
- Grow Something — Gardening activates your brain in all kinds of ways, from planning plant placement to picking out the right tools and supplies to minding your watering schedule. For those with cognition issues, gardening is great for stimulating the senses (touch, hearing, vision, smell). It can also be very relaxing or excellent exercise … or both!
- Eat Healthy — Eating healthy is recommended at any age, but for older adults, it could be the key to living longer. A balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats has been proven promote brain health, and may fend off depression and reduce dementia risk. Research has found that eating three ounces of fish boosts mood-elevating chemicals like dopamine within 30 minutes! Dark chocolate is also a mood booster when eaten in moderation. It contains small amounts of phenylethylamine, a mood-regulating chemical that also naturally occurs in the brain.
- Stay Connected — It’s a fact that older adults who continue to socialize and maintain a support network of family and friends enjoy greater mental, emotional and physical well-being. For the health of it, schedule those lunches and coffee talks. Or keep in touch via social media and video chatting apps.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep — We impress it on our children and grandkids, but a good night’s sleep is just as critical for seniors when it comes to mental, physical and emotional health. Since seniors are often prone to sleep disturbances and insomnia, it’s helpful to know some techniques for falling asleep and staying asleep for a full seven to nine hours (without medication).
The Perfect Mood Booster — Living at Monroe Village.
At Monroe Village, we’re all about helping our residents lead healthy, fulfilling lifestyles. From our packed activity schedule to our delicious dining to our close-knit community, there are so many reasons to call Monroe Village home. It’s also good to know that as a Life Plan Community, Monroe Village is designed to meet your needs as you age with on-site medical care and additional living options. If you’d like to learn more about the great life waiting for you here, just fill out the request form, and one of our sales counselors will be in touch shortly. We look forward to meeting you!