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Mental wellbeing

Feeling well is not just about being physically fit and healthy – it’s equally important to your overall health that you feel good mentally.

Although the two can be linked, there are 4 key areas of your life that you should keep an eye on to make sure you keep a sense of mental wellbeing.

Social contact

Meeting friends, enjoying hobbies and getting involved in the local community, perhaps by volunteering, makes life fulfilling and helps us to feel good about ourselves and life in general. If you find that you’re not able to do the things that you used to, you may want to find new things you enjoy.

Spending time with other people can prevent you from feeling lonely or anxious and give you a chance to share experiences, thoughts and worries.

Stay in touch

If you have family and friends nearby, try to meet up with them regularly or ask them to call round. Otherwise, regular phone calls can help you to stay close.

The internet has opened up more opportunities to stay in contact, such as exchanging emails and using Skype to make video phone calls. Feeling that people care about you can make a big difference to your outlook.

If you aren’t confident using the internet, contact your local library for help - many offer training sessions and advice on getting online for older people.

Make plans

People can have mixed feelings about retirement, and you may feel your life lacks purpose without work. However, you may find that you have more time to do all the things that you never had time to do when you were working.

Setting yourself goals, however small, can give you a sense of achievement and motivation. Your goal could be anything from finishing a crossword puzzle or making a phone call to a friend, to doing some gardening or reading a chapter of a book.

Planning days out or arranging activities for the week or month ahead will give you something to look forward to and keep you feeling positive.

Take a break

Whether you work or not, it’s important for your mental and physical wellbeing to take breaks from your routine. If you’re on your own or your usual travel partner isn’t available, why not see whether your local older people's group or another local club organises group holidays?

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575

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