You know that you should eat healthy foods and get some exercise to feel good and live longer. Another key part to living longer is your mental health.
Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. But we all face changes in life that can challenge our emotional well being. For example, even if you always looked forward to retirement, you might miss working. Or, maybe you've moved and you miss your old friends.
Whatever happens in your life, make your mental health a priority. You'll feel better and deal with stress better. These ideas can keep your spirits up:
Stay in touch with family and friends. Maintaining relationships is good for your mental health. Call and visit your children or grandchildren. If you don't have family or friends nearby, join a local church or a community organization.
Give yourself time to adjust to major life changes. This includes not only obvious negative events such as the death of your spouse or a friend, but also potentially “positive” events as moving or retiring which also can be accompanied by a sense of loss. Grieving any loss is natural and necessary.
Keep busy with mentally stimulating activities. Consider volunteering or taking a class. Explore new interests, such as learning another language.
Consider getting a pet. A pet can be a wonderful companion. Pet owners get more exercise and have more social contact than those without a pet.
Exercise. Take a walk or ride a bike. Exercise improves how you feel mentally, as well as physically.
Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can contribute to depression. Try to get as much sleep as you need. Although we often say that a person needs about eight hours of sleep per night, this is only an average number and some people find they need more. It's important that you find out for yourself how many hours you need for restful, restorative sleep.
Practice optimism and good humor. A positive attitude and laughter boost your mood. Spend time with people who make you laugh. Rent funny movies.
Keep this list handy and add ideas of your own. It's worth putting good mental health on the top of your "to do" list every day.
Do you feel down?
It's impossible to be cheerful all the time—some days are harder than others. But if you just can't shake your sadness or you have mysterious aches and pains, you may be suffering from depression.
Like heart disease and diabetes, clinical depression is an illness. Depression may be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, heredity, a stressful life change, medication, or a combination of these. It may develop after a particular event or for no apparent reason. It can also be secondary to another underlying medical problem (for example, hypothyroidism) or a consequence of using drugs or alcohol.
Many people don't realize that they have depression. To help determine whether you may be depressed, answer the following questions.
Do you feel sad or hopeless but don't know why?
Do you have persistent aches and pains that don't respond to treatment?
Have you lost interest in activities you used to enjoy?
Do you have trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?
Do you frequently feel worthless or guilty?
Do you have trouble sleeping at night?
Do you worry that you sleep too much?
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, and you have felt this way for more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider because you may be depressed. Treatment can help you feel good again—but first, someone has to know you feel bad. If at any time you are feeling suicidal, contact a support person, your health care provider, or call 911 to get immediate help.
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Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine Oral powder
Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine Oral tablet
Valproic Acid Oral capsule(1)
Sumatriptan Succinate, Naproxen Sodium Oral tablet
Selegiline Hydrochloride Transdermal patch - 24 hour
Mirtazapine Oral disintegrating tablet
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral capsule, extended-release
Metoprolol Succinate Oral tablet, extended-release
Divalproex Sodium Oral capsule, sprinkles
Paroxetine Controlled-Release Tablets
Butalbital, Acetaminophen, Caffeine Oral solution
Fluoxetine Hydrochloride Oral capsule, gastro-resistant pellets, weekly [Depression/Mood Disorders]
Trimipramine Maleate Oral capsule
Olanzapine, Fluoxetine Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Zolmitriptan Nasal spray
Escitalopram Oral solution
Duloxetine Oral capsule, pellets
Timolol Maleate Oral tablet
Propranolol Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral solution
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Nadolol Oral tablet
Metoprolol Tartrate Solution for injection
Metoprolol Tartrate Oral tablet
Atenolol Solution for injection
Atenolol Oral tablet
Ergotamine Tartrate Sublingual tablet
Dihydroergotamine Mesylate Nasal spray
Dihydroergotamine Mesylate Solution for injection
Ergotamine Tartrate, Caffeine Rectal suppository
Ergotamine Tartrate, Caffeine Oral tablet
Butalbital, Aspirin, Caffeine, Codeine Phosphate Oral capsule
Butalbital, Acetaminophen, Caffeine, Codeine Phosphate Oral capsule
Naproxen Oral suspension
Naproxen Oral tablet, delayed-release
Protriptyline Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Amitriptyline Hydrochloride, Perphenazine Oral tablet
Nortriptyline Hydrochloride Oral solution
Nortriptyline Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Imipramine Pamoate Oral capsule
Imipramine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Desipramine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Amitriptyline Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Sertraline Hydrochloride Oral solution
Sertraline Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Paroxetine Hydrochloride Oral suspension
Fluoxetine Hydrochloride Oral solution [Depression/Mood Disorders]
Escitalopram Oral tablet
Citalopram Hydrobromide Oral solution
Citalopram Hydrobromide Oral tablet
Tranylcypromine Sulfate Oral tablet
Phenelzine Sulfate Oral tablet
Isocarboxazid Oral tablet
Trazodone Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Mirtazapine Oral tablet
Maprotiline Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Amoxapine Oral tablet
Nefazodone Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Bupropion Hydrochloride Oral tablet, extended release 12 hour [Smoking Cessation]
Bupropion Hydrochloride Oral tablet, extended release 12 hour [Depression/Mood Disorders]
Zolmitriptan Oral disintegrating tablet
Zolmitriptan Oral tablet
Sumatriptan Nasal spray
Sumatriptan Succinate Solution for injection
Sumatriptan Succinate Oral tablet
Rizatriptan Benzoate Oral tablet
Rizatriptan Benzoate Oral disintegrating tablet
Naratriptan Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Frovatriptan Oral tablet
Eletriptan Hydrobromide Oral tablet
Nimodipine Oral capsule
Valproic Acid Oral solution
Valproate Sodium Solution for injection
Valproic Acid Oral capsule
S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (Sam-E) Oral tablet
Butorphanol Tartrate Nasal spray
Butorphanol Tartrate Solution for injection
Doxepin Hydrochloride Topical cream
Doxepin Hydrochloride Oral solution
Doxepin Hydrochloride Oral capsule