Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Sheena Van Parys of Home Instead in Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk
In this instalment, I will be sharing some tips to help boost your mood. It is very important, especially with winter lurking, to keep an upbeat state of mind in order to lead a positive lifestyle. Eating healthy foods and exercising are obvious ways to remain fit and healthy, but there are also many other adjustments we can make to improve our mental health and state of mind.
Here are a few mood boosting tips:
Laugh - As adults we often forget to just enjoy ourselves and laugh more. Laughing releases endorphins into our body which increase serotonin levels in our brain, causing us to instantly feel happier. Life doesn’t need to always be taken too seriously!
Practice gratitude - It’s important to recognise what we’re grateful for, acknowledge it, and appreciate it. When you wake up in the morning, try and think of a few things that you are grateful for and notice the difference it makes to your mood.
Talk to someone - Whether it’s a friend, relative or even a neighbour, knowing you have someone you can turn to, can help to put your mind at ease. Don’t forget to be there for someone else too, as this can brighten your mood just as much as you have the satisfaction of knowing you have helped someone else.
Surround yourself with positive scents and sounds - Sometimes when we feel our mood dipping it is good to surround yourself with scents which can uplift your mood. Lavender can be seen as relaxing, whereas peppermint can help to soothe your overactive mind. This can work just as well with your favourite perfume. Listen to your favourite music and light a candle; you may find yourself feeling great afterwards!
Take deep breaths - We don’t often concentrate on our breathing because it’s a natural function, but consciously focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths can relieve stress and increase relaxation. Simply place one hand on the abdomen and one hand on the lower ribs and take a breath that starts in your abdomen and works its way up your body. Control your breathing by breathing in for 3 to 5 seconds, hold for the same amount of time and exhale the air out through your mouth slowly. Do this for 3 minutes and you will feel the stress melt away.
Some of these simple tips is all that is needed to help us feel better about ourselves. To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at [email protected] or by post to Home Instead, Nidderdale House, Station Yard, Harrogate HG3 3BA or alternatively, you can also call me on 01423 774490.
Sheena Van Parys