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Simple ways to increase your happiness

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By Maria Burke, RN, Owner, Celtic Angels Home Health Care

Short, cold days make it easy to get a case of the winter doldrums. And when we feel down, we forget to spend time on the things that truly nourish our souls. But it’s important to keep joy in our lives. So, take a moment and think, what makes me happy?

If you’re struggling a bit, that’s OK, too. Seniors often experience depression and anxiety due to loneliness, life changes, worries about finances, and family struggles. If you or your senior loved one are experiencing significant anxiety or depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. There is no shame or reason for embarrassment in seeking help or support from professionals. But there are also some things you can do to create more happiness in your life. Here are some suggestions.

Get Some Exercise 

Any sort of exercise will help you feel happier. It raises your endorphins and releases stress. Why not try some yoga, dance in your living room, or take a walk around your yard if the weather permits? Remember, any movement is better than sitting around, so find something you enjoy and set aside time at least a few days a week to exercise.

Focus on Relationships

Relationships are key to happiness. Take time to spend with the ones you love. Try having a family game night, invite friends for an ice cream social, or have your grandkids over to visit. If COVID is too widespread for in-person visits, make use of technology to video chat with loved ones. A pet can also provide a wonderful source of companionship if having one is an option where you live.

Eat Well

Food is one of the great pleasures of life. And eating healthy foods can help you feel happier, too! Try to create appealing nutritious meals that you’ll enjoy eating. Take the time to savor your meal, and share meals with friends or family whenever possible to ward off loneliness. Remember, we’re happy to help with grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking, so tasty food is always within your reach.

Do Something Nice for Someone Else

One of the best ways to feel better is through altruism. And you don’t need to worry if you have mobility challenges. Even small gestures can make both you and the recipient of your good will feel happier. Try making a craft, sending a card, or even calling someone you love to remind them you care.

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill is a wonderful way to boost your happiness. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, keep your brain sharp, and maybe find a new hobby that will continue to provide enjoyment. And you can even take classes online right from the comfort of your own home! So why not try a cooking class, study a different language, take up painting, or learn to play the guitar?

Laugh

Laughing reduces stress and simply makes you feel better. And research has found that memory can be improved by watching funny videos, too. So, find a funny show, look up humorous animal videos, or just call that friend who can always make you laugh.

Happiness makes life more enjoyable and even reduces your risk of death. Consider investing some time into cultivating your own happiness because it is worthwhile. Make time for the people and things that bring happiness into your life. And don’t forget to reach out if you need assistance. We’re happy to help.

About the Author: Maria Burke, RN, is owner and founder of Celtic Angels Home Health Care. Maria Burke was born in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. She is the eldest of six and immigrated to the United States in 1988 to pursue a nursing degree to become a registered nurse. She served as a visiting nurse and from there, launched her own home health care company. Celtic Angels has two offices; Weymouth and Needham and provides a full array of the highest quality in-home health care services with certified and skilled CNAs, HHAs, and RNs. ∞

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