January 22, 2021
Most older Americans think about, if not worry about, their mental health. Too many have seen those negatively impacted by loss of mental acuity. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon who is CNN’s chief medical correspondent, made these suggestions for the best possible mental health in a recent article published on the AARP website.
Maintain social connection in a physically distanced world
Use your phone and computer to keep in touch with friends and family and have extended conversations with them. Video calling (FaceTime, Zoom, or similar) have replaced in person social interaction in so many situations in the current COVID-19 environment.
Eat for resiliency
There is no better diet than a Mediterranean-style diet, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (including seafood), healthy fats, and nuts and seeds.
Move more – exercise is key to mental sharpness and a healthy immune system
Especially during COVID-19 times, it is easy to be isolated. Using the outdoors for movement and exercise is a great option (and safe when proper distancing is maintained). Moving more inside, if only marching around your space, is an alternative when you cannot safely be outside or are uncomfortable doing so. Any exercise that increases your heart-rate is also good for your mind.
Get good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep refreshes and replenishes tissue and cells, including those in your brain and immune system. A good sleep also rinses away waste products in the brain. To help with good sleep, give yourself some down time before bedtime to allow your body and mind to relax before sleep time. It is also advisable to eliminate screen time for at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep.
Ward off anxiety and fears by learning something new – push away negative news
There are a multitude of courses and lessons available online, many of which are free. You can find educational resources at Harvard University’s website or Khan Academy. Khan Academy is not just for school aged children, if you want to learn more in a structured learning format. Go to a search engine and enter “classes online” and see what you can find.
Maintaining financial resources
Having adequate financial resources to maintain current lifestyle standards and cover budgeted expenses reduces stress levels and helps with mental health. If you are concerned about your financial security, did you know that your life insurance policy could be a resource of additional security? You may be able to sell your life insurance policy in a life settlement to support your financial situation. A life settlement transaction is a powerful tool that allows life insurance policy holders to tap the market value of their life insurance policy, which they can use however they need! In a life settlement, the life insurance policy holder receives a cash offer of an amount less than the death benefit but more than the cash value from a life settlement provider. The new owner then pays all future premium payments on the policy. Life settlements are a regulated transaction, so make sure you are working with a life settlement provider or broker who is licensed in your state.