Chronic Pain · Mental Health · Recovery

Guest Piece: How to Resonate Well-Being Throughout Your Senior Years

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

This guest post is courtesy of Jason, a personal trainer and primary caretaker of his mother. You can reach him at jason@strongwell.org. He reached out to me because of his hopes to help aid seniors’ physical and mental health, since many struggle with mobility and more than 2 million have depression in the United States.

Traveling the hills and valleys of life takes a toll on everyone, and sometimes pulling ourselves out of the low points can be especially challenging. Our senior years can be a journey filled with aches, pains, and strains of all sorts, but thankfully, there are tools available to help us regain happiness and health. With a few conscious choices, seniors can take control of their quality of life and resonate joy and well-being in their golden years.  

Music to Your Ears

Throughout history, humans far and wide have loved music. In your senior years, music can be more than just entertainment, and in fact, you could make a case for it being medicinal. According to Enlivant, researchers believe listening to music provides a number of important benefits, such as feeling happier, improved sleep, lowered pain levels, and sharper brain function. You can even improve your memory, social life, and overall outlook. For an even bigger boost, you can learn to play an instrument. Seniors who play musical instruments appear to experience less stress, have improved hearing, and could even be more resistant to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

black headset on white printer paper
Photo by Kelly Sikkema.

If you’re one of many people who never played an instrument in your youth, no worries! Some experts indicate that you are never too old to learn, and there are virtually no limitations on what type of instrument you could play. From percussion to woodwind, your options are nearly limitless. As an example, you could pick up the beginner-friendly alto saxophone. It’s the middle-sized sax, which makes it a more mobile selection than bigger saxophones, and for those new to playing, it can be easier to create pleasing sound than with smaller saxes. You can shop online for a saxophone, and there are even websites which offer lessons — just read some reviews to find one you’ll feel comfortable using. YouTube also has videos.

If you’re worried about osteoarthritis and how that will affect your music, here are some encouraging thoughts.

Spice Up Your Life

Many older adults struggle with proper nutrition, but a balanced diet is just as important in your senior years as it was in your youth, if not more so. Research cited by Neurology Times explains that a healthy dietmight help protect your brain from deterioration associated with dementia, as well as helping to prevent chronic health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Make sure your diet primarily includes whole grains, vegetables, fish, fruit, chicken, low-fat dairy products, and nuts, and avoid consuming added salt and sugar.  

Photo by Max Delsid.

There are many reasons seniors lose interest in food, such as a waning sense of taste, health issues, or depression. However, cooking makes a great hobby, and it’s a chance for you to dabble in new, interesting recipes that can enhance your health and lifestyle. It’s more affordable than eating out, it can lower stress levels, and you can make healthy meals to share with friends. If food is becoming a little boring, consider playing with herbs and spices, which have health benefits of their own. For instance, cinnamon might help lower your blood sugar levels, sage appears to boost memory and brain function, and turmeric has the potential to reduce inflammation. On top of all that, your food will have more flavor.

Here are some tips for cooking with chronic pain and lower energy, if that’s something you have trouble with.

onion and black peppers beside black mortar and pestle
Photo by Marie Grob.

Keep Up Connections

Staying socially active has important health perks for older adults, promoting positivity, reducing loneliness, lowering stress levels, and improving life satisfaction. Look for ways to connect with friends. You can form a quartet, share meals together, play card games, or just talk. It’s important to your well-being and theirs, too! If getting out and about is a worry, there are many organizations which provide transportation at low or no cost to seniors. Check with your nearby Area Agency on Agingfor what services are available in your location.

two person talking while standing near wall
Photo by Cristina Gottardi.

Life may be full of ups and downs, but your golden years don’t need to be spent in a valley. Look for ways to boost your health and happiness through avenues like music, cooking, and time with friends. It’s a wonderful way to regain control over your quality of life.

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