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Seven ways to protect your mental health after 40:

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Mental health is a vital part of our overall health and well-being. This subject is a public health issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. The good news is that there are things you can do to help protect your mental health.


Here are 7 ways to protect your mental health after 40:

  1. Get enough sleep

  2. Exercise regularly

  3. Limit alcohol intake

  4. Avoid self-medication

  5. Manage chronic illnesses

  6. Practice moderation in all things

  7. Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of depression






Get enough sleep

Sleep is vital for our mental health, and it can also help improve how we feel during the day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. To help ensure you're getting enough sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try not to use your phone or any screens an hour before bedtime.


Make sure your room is dark when you go to sleep, it will help your eyes adjust to enable you to fall asleep quicker. Try using blackout curtains, turning off electronics, and removing anything that emits light in your bedroom. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor to help you find a treatment or a healthy way to manage your situation. A treatment that may be helpful is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). This therapy helps you to learn how your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviors related to sleep. Which will help you to change the way you relate to your bedtime routine.


Exercise Regularly

Exercise can improve your mental health in multiple ways. Not only does it help with stress levels, but research has shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience severe depression than those who don't exercise. It releases endorphins, hormones that make you feel good and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.


The mention of the word "exercise" always makes people uncomfortable. However, exercising doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym. Any level of physical activity goes a long way to help improve your overall health, especially after 40.


It could be as simple as taking a brisk walk outside or doing some stretching exercises while watching TV. It doesn't need to be all-out strenuous workouts either—even something low impact like yoga or pilates can have immense mental health benefits.


Even if you're not into high-intensity workouts, try adding more moderate exercise into your routine. The goal is to get moving—and once you start feeling better, you may find yourself enjoying more rigorous workouts too!


Limit alcohol intake

There are many health risks associated with drinking too much alcohol. The even riskier fact is that alcohol affects more than just your physical health. Alcohol can negatively affect your mental health as well.


Drinking too much can cause anxiety, intensify stress, and caliver and other health issues. The good news is that if you have these symptoms after drinking, they will most likely go away after a few days or weeks without alcohol. You don't need to drink again to feel better!


Manage chronic illnesses

Chronic illnesses are not very pleasant issues to handle. They can become quite cumbersome over time and hence have a negative toll on your mental well-being. It is imperative to get treatment for any chronic illnesses you have, stay positive, and do your best to manage them. Once you hit the age of 40, Doctors recommend that you get checked for medical conditions like hypertension, high blood pressure, cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other age and lifestyle-related diseases. The reason for this is, when they are detected early, they can be better managed or even treated.


In addition to being tested for physical illnesses, it is also important to get mental health screenings. Some signs that you may need help with are:

  • Suicidal ideations or thoughts

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

  • Mental fog or difficulty concentrating

  • Persistent sadness

  • Feeling of hopelessness

  • Extreme mood swings


Practice moderation in all things

In the realm of mental wellness, there is a constant push for total abstinence. But from a scientific standpoint, it is necessary to understand why you should be moderate in everything you do.


Some people need to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Others don't. It's important not to "jump" into something that may not be right for you or your life circumstance. Being moderate with your habits has a lot of benefits, both psychologically and physiologically.


Remember that the goal of moderation is to reduce disadvantages while still enjoying the advantages of socializing with friends, drinking alcohol, or using drugs every once in a while. To get the enjoyment out of it without risking addiction or other negative consequences, make sure you do your best to practice moderation in all things.


Pay attention to the signs of depression

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it's crucial to get help. There are many resources available to address depression, including therapy or medication.

It can be challenging to know how long these symptoms will last or what triggered them in the first place. But if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms for two weeks or longer, it is time to seek help:

1) Trouble sleeping

2) Loss of appetite and weight loss

3) Loss of energy and motivation

4) Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy

5) Feeling hopeless about the future


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