Holistic health is an approach to healthcare and life which combines the care of the body, mind and soul to achieve ultimate happiness and health. When each of the components of the body system are at their best, holistic health is achieved for maximum wellness. One of the most important parts of holistic health is taking your wellbeing into your own hands, changing everyday habits and choices to live holistically. Holistic health for seniors is essential to increase overall well-being as you age.
The Holistic Approach Explained
Holistic care means taking into consideration each part of the body and how you can nourish and care for it. There is plenty of research to suggest that mental stimuli, physical activities and social networks are key to living longer and combatting many illnesses that can arise as we age, including depression. Putting these factors together can help you to achieve a holistic, happy life. This means looking at how you can nurture your mind, body and soul in the best way possible, each and every day.
Holistic Care of the Mind
As a senior, it is never too late to learn a new hobby or skill or take up something that interests you. This could be reading, writing, crochet, sudoku, chess or anything else that stimulates the mind and keeps you occupied. As you may have heard before “if you don’t use it, you will lose it”. This is especially important as we age and just as we would exercise the body, we should do the same with our mind.
Find challenging activities that improve memory and keep your brain thinking. This can combat and slow changes that naturally occur to the brain as we age.
Taking care of the mind isn’t just about using it to challenge yourself. This also means taking care of your mental health. One thing that many seniors struggle with is a decent night’s sleep and this is because as we age, we produce less growth hormones which, in turn, leads to less time in deep sleep.
When we are in deep sleep, we produce more melatonin which keeps us asleep for longer. We lose this as we age, meaning it can be harder to fall asleep and stay that way.
A few ways to combat this include having a regular bedtime routine, reading before bed instead of picking up the phone or TV remote, having a comfortable bed and not drinking too close to bedtime to reduce the risk of waking up for the toilet.
Holistic Care of the Body
No matter your age, exercise is an essential part of healthy living. While you may not be able to do some activities that you enjoyed when you were younger, this shouldn’t stop you from exercising in a way that works for you.
As you age, strength and stability exercises become increasingly important. These can help with everyday tasks, such as stair climbing or putting away the groceries. If you have a health condition that has stopped you from exercising, speak to your doctor about the best way for you to strengthen your body that will minimize risks of injury.
You may want to find an exercise class for seniors or try your hand at a gentler exercise, such as yoga. Taking care of the body isn’t just about how we move, but what we put into the body. If you are on medications, it may be best to cut out alcohol or cut down, to avoid overworking your kidneys and liver.
If you smoke, now is a great time to stop, to minimize your risk of further health complications and to elevate your energy levels. This also means choosing healthy foods and cutting down on too much fat and sugar.
Holistic Care of the Soul
Whether you are religious or not, taking care of the soul is vital to maintaining a sense of purpose and belonging in this life. This can mean being part of a religious community. This kind of spiritual activity is known to lower blood pressure and decrease pain of illness.
If you aren’t religious, there are still plenty of ways to nourish the soul, from meditation to being part of a shared community, such as volunteering. Having an active social life is key to fighting mental illness and reducing any feelings of loneliness or isolation, especially for those who live alone or live far from family.
Caring for your soul starts at home, meaning you must be happy and comfortable in your own home to achieve true happiness and wellness. If you do live alone and you are finding this difficult, it may be time to look at assisted living.
Frontier Management offer many amazing assisted living centers for seniors looking to achieve holistic health and wellness. Redwood Heights is just one of these centers, offering the chance for seniors to contribute to the community, belong, take part in lifelong learning and find their purpose.
Incorporating Holistic Health into Everyday Life
There are many ways you can begin to bring holistic care into your life. These can be small life changes that, in turn, improve your happiness and wellness. This can be:
♦ Going for a daily walk to improve your physical health and get outdoors
♦ Signing up to a local volunteering hub where you can help others and make social connections
♦ Taking a class and learning something new; it is never too late to attend that class you always wanted to when you were younger!
♦ Joining a club of likeminded people, such as a book club or a senior sports club.
Holistic health in seniors is a great way to improve lifestyle through the mind, body and soul. When you nurture one, such as the body, you are in turn caring for the soul. For example, exercising the body can make for a better night’s sleep, which can improve mental health and wellbeing. Holistic health works in harmony to promote wellness in all areas of your life.
It is never too late to begin to make healthy choices and improve your life. Following the holistic health approach for seniors could see you being more active, happier and living life with a sense of purpose again.
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