Self-Love for SeniorsJanuary 4, 2024
With the official start of the year comes an important reminder: to look at oneself with love and grace. To encourage the care and affection for oneself, which is just as valuable as tending to your own needs, January was named Self-Love Month. Making an effort to practice self-love for seniors is crucial, especially after the holidays.
When the sparkle of the season goes away and the family returns home, many older adults experience a severe decline in mood. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem, both of which have serious impacts on one’s mental health. Physical illness or mobility limitations exacerbate this issue. Practicing self-love, however, can help you overcome these feelings.
Connection between self-esteem and overall health
It’s common knowledge that one’s self-esteem has an impact on their mental health, but did you know it can also impact one’s physical health? Lower self-esteem increases one’s stress levels. Chronic stress can cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, lack of sleep, and a lowered immune system.
Approaching yourself with grace and love won’t necessarily solve all your problems, but it will seriously impact your mental health.
How to practice self-love for seniors
While self-love and self-care have clear overlapping factors, there is a distinct difference between the two. Self-love is about recognizing one’s own self-worth and treating oneself with compassion and acceptance. Self-care, conversely, is making an effort to care for our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Learning to treat yourself with self-love involves more than a step-by-step process could ever offer. However, these tips are a wonderful place to start.
Avoid negative stereotypes about aging
Unfortunately, we are inundated with negative stereotypes about the aging process from a young age. With these stereotypes so prevalent in our society, it is easy to develop a poor attitude or beliefs about what it means to grow older without even realizing it.
As you age, you begin to feel the effects of those internalized perceptions. Maybe you’re older than those around you, you move slower than you used to, or perhaps you’re tired more easily. The fact of the matter is, however, that these are all completely natural aspects of aging that everyone must experience.
Instead of ruminating on these factors, instead, focus on the good aspects. How do you feel physically? Are you enjoying retirement? How about the wisdom you’ve garnered over the years? Choosing to focus on these aspects of your life will help create higher self-esteem.
Do what makes you happy
Too often, we force ourselves into little boxes to fit what is expected of us as opposed to what makes us happy. This leaves us feeling restricted, which poorly affects our mental health. However, in your retirement years, you finally have the freedom to pursue your passions and whatever makes you happy.
Make a point to follow what makes you happy as appropriate, whether that means working towards a hobby or simply dressing in a way that inspires you.
Build strong social connections
Seniors are more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation than other age groups which, in turn, can have implications on one’s physical and mental health alike. However, those with poor self-esteem are more likely to pull back from forming new social connections, which, in turn, deepens those feelings. It is a vicious cycle that only feeds on itself.
Those who cultivate strong social connections with friends and family members not only have a better relationship with their mental health, but are also proven to live longer.
Maintain independence with home care
As you begin to struggle with the varying activities of daily living, it can be difficult to approach yourself with the same grace as you once did. To retain your independence and remain in the comfort of your home, home care is the answer.
For over 30 years, Home Care Powered by AUAF has helped seniors in the greater Chicago area experience a higher quality of life, and we would be thrilled to add you to our roster. For more information on our services, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.
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