October is Emotional Wellness Month

The arrival of Emotional Wellness Month reminds us to consider how we are managing the stresses of everyday life, a skill with extra resonance during the pandemic. Many people are feeling the stress of social isolation and fear of the coronavirus, while others are becoming caregivers, from parents doing at-home learning, to those caring for a loved one in need.

This October, Emotional Wellness Month helps us focus on the ways we can care for ourselves, from learning how to process our feelings in a healthy, positive way, to practicing self-care strategies, like exercise or knitting, to checking in with our feelings each day.

Here are six ways seniors—or any of us—can bolster our emotional wellness during anxiety-provoking times.

Physical Exercise

Exercising is one the most obvious ways for seniors to improve their emotional well-being, in addition to their physical fitness. Walking outside is actually one of the easiest and simplest ways to exercise because it allows you to experience nature and the world in a very immediate way.

Social Connections

For most of us, talking with other people helps promote emotional and social wellness. Not only is it good to practice expressing your feelings, but when you make the effort to connect with other people, it opens the door for engaging conversations and presents the opportunity to make lasting friendships based on shared interests.

Self-Care/Hygiene Activities

Personal hygiene can boost emotional wellness because the physical act helps to comfort the mind through daily routine activity. Washing and grooming can also provide an effective wellness experience by promoting physical well-being and improving self-esteem.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Practicing meditation and mindfulness helps produce positive emotions by increasing our sense of calm, decreasing stress and centering the anxious mind. Studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation can help reduce depression and boost emotional well-being, and in some cases, even help older adults emotionally adjust to the challenges of aging.

Emotional Self Check-ins

Evaluating your headspace every day is important because it allows you to get a handle on your emotions before moving on, rather than letting negative emotions accumulate. Instead of burying your feelings, try to get in touch with your inner self each day, assessing your mental state and taking steps to alleviate stress.

Pursuing Hobbies

By pursuing a favorite hobby or passion, whether that is reading or riding a bike or gardening, you are taking a moment for yourself and providing space to let go of negative emotions and worries as you focus on something that brings you pleasure. Hobbies can also offer a stronger sense of purpose, which has a positive effect on emotional wellness.