May is National Mental Health Month, a reminder of the importance of mental health and wellness. Your physical and emotional health are closely linked to the levels of satisfaction and contentment you experience in life. People who are emotionally healthy are able to manage life’s ups and downs and recover from losses and disappointment.

While no one can escape problems or hardships, people who are emotionally and mentally resilient maintain their focus and have confidence that they can handle whatever challenges come their way. Being resilient has helped many of my clients get through difficulties brought on by the pandemic. For example, when 82-year-old Michael was in lockdown at his assisted living facility, unable to see his family members for months, he decided to make the best of the situation. He learned how to use FaceTime and Zoom, and he stayed in touch with the people who cared about him. It eased his loneliness and he maintained hope that the situation would eventually get better.

The good news is, resilience can be learned and it’s never too late to improve your
mental and emotional health, no matter how old you are. Here are some tips to boost resilience:

  • Connect with positive, emotionally healthy people. You’ll feel happier and more energetic when you’re around people with positive attitudes.
  • Plan an activity every day that you find enjoyable and rewarding.
  • Take good care of your body. Regular exercise and adequate sleep and nutrition help the mind and body cope with life’s stressors.
  • Stay flexible. There will be times your schedule is thrown out of whack, but try to keep things in perspective and maintain your sense of humor.
  • Recognize that while you may not have control over certain events that happen, you do have control in how you’ll respond. You can make a conscious choice to react to everyday problems and challenges with an open mind and a positive attitude.
  • Learn ways to manage stress and calm yourself. Some people find mindfulness, meditation, practicing
    gratitude, and spiritual practices to reduce stress.
  • Focus on solutions, not problems. Don’t stay stuck blaming yourself or others for mistakes that happened in the past.
  • Help others. Studies show that performing a kind act for someone else can boost your own level of happiness.

While we often think of mental health as being about our heads, caring for our mental health is a matter of caring for our minds and bodies and balancing all areas of our life.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (920) 740-8441 or email us at sue@coylecaremanagement.com. We’ll be happy to assist!