The month of October is designated as Emotional Wellness Month. What does that mean to you and your aging loved one? Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle all that life throws at you, whether it’s joyful times, stressful times, or difficult times. It doesn’t necessarily mean always being happy, but means that you can navigate the tough times and bounce back to a more contented state of life once a crisis or loss is over.
As an aging person, your loved one may come across a lot of bumps in the road. It can be his health, the death of a loved one, or the loss of an ability, among many other things. Helping your loved one stay emotionally well will help him to be able to weather the bad times so that he can enjoy the better times.
There are six areas that your loved one should strive to build on to help him. He may choose to do it alone, with a trained counselor, or with the help of you or his companion care at home provider. He may use all of you to help him develop these strategies, but if he can master them, he will be better able to maintain emotional wellness no matter what comes his way.
- Reduce Stress. Life would be great with no stress, but everyone comes across stressful situations in life. So, while it’s not about reducing outside stress, the strategy is to reduce the amount of internal stress the body reacts to. Practices like deep breathing, yoga, and going for a walk, can all help reduce stress levels. If your loved one is in a stressful spot in life, encourage him to work with his companion care at home provider to help him practice stress-relieving techniques.
- Sleep Well. A consistent good night’s sleep will allow your loved one to manage problems when they come his way better. A well-rested body and mind allow for sharper thinking, better decision-making, and sharper focus.
- Stay Connected. Trying to do it all alone often only builds stress upon stress. Make sure your loved one has connections he can reach out to – both in good times and bad. His companion care at home provider is a great resource for connection and socialization if your loved one feels isolated or alone.
- Think Positive. This doesn’t mean ignoring the negative things that occur in life, but training the mind to remember the positive, even when the negative is occurring. People who have fewer negative emotions find it easier to bounce back from hard times.
- Turn Off the Internal Noise. Being mindful of where he is and what he’s doing, instead of worrying about what might be or what was, will help your loved one have better emotional wellness. By fully experiencing each moment, it’ll enrich his life.
- Don’t Ignore Loss. While your loved one might think he has to ignore the pain of a loss to maintain his emotional health, the opposite is true. Allowing himself to grieve and grieve fully can help him be more emotionally well.
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