How to Take Care of Your Mental Health

Table of Contents

Where should you go on your Solo Portugal Trip?

Porto Covo, Portugal!

Are you ready for dramatic views, beautiful beaches, and a gorgeous walk along the Costa Vicentina? Porto Covo is a small fishing village with white-washed houses that sit nestled atop a hill overlooking the raging Atlantic Ocean on the Alentejo western coast.

If you go off-season, you will get a taste of “old Portugal” and what it is like to live in a quiet village by the sea. It’s gorgeous!

Being over 50 (I’m actually over 60!) and living alone during a pandemic situation or a “normal” situation is a challenge. There are days that I love to be alone because I want to work on my painting, photography, cooking or writing. There are days that things get overwhelming. We all have good and bad days- so how do you take care of your mental health?

Stay in touch (with yourself)

I just finished a quick Google search about mental health. I was curious to know what scientific research has found about maintaining a healthy connection to our mind. As someone living alone and over 50, I wondered if there was anything I should be adding to my routine that would help me better my relationship with myself, and my thoughts.

Keeping a healthy attitude

A healthy attitude means different things to people. Some say it means you have a good sense of humor, or approach to life in general. Others say that it’s when you don’t let anything trigger you, sort of like don’t let the small things get to you. It can mean that you are aware at all times, and if things start to trigger you in a debilitating way, you respond with thought and insight, instead of reacting in an outburst. I found so many meanings, and I think we must each find our definition for the words: Healthy attitude. We are the only ones who know what is good for us.

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A healthy attitude to me means:

-Making an effort not to get triggered over things

-When I get triggered, I remove myself from the situation

-Look at the overall big picture

-Don’t take things seriously unless it’s a serious situation that requires a specific type of attention

Mental health for the solo and 50+ crowd

When I did the research, I did not find anything that addressed people who live alone. I have met many single older people over 50 and beyond, and I wonder why no one is addressing my crowd! Mental health is essential to everyone, but when you live alone, you need to be aware of what is going on with you. You need to pay attention to your behavior changes, your feelings, and your state of mind. You need to catch it quickly and support yourself. Whereas when you live with someone or several people, they may see that you are not doing well and may guide or help you.

Ways to stay on top of your mental health

I am not a therapist or a specialist in mental health, but I will share my thoughts according to my searches and research. I tweaked my findings to help me, and I hope that they will help you.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

1.Write. Many searches suggest that we speak to people about our feelings. When you live alone, that is not an easy thing to do, so I suggest that you keep a journal. Write every day or every other day. This is where you can complain, vent, and get it all out of your system.

2. Me time. Create time for yourself. Many times we feel overwhelmed with everything around us, so take time off for yourself. Go to a spa, go on a walk, watch a movie, do whatever it takes that will distract you and make you feel great for a few hours.

3. The Busy Bee. Stay busy to keep your mind and body active and entertained positively. Specific activities will make us feel like we are growing, learning things, and accomplishing something. To me, these are cooking new recipes, photography, painting, walking, writing, researching curiosities, and writing. What makes you feel like you are growing and gives you a sense of accomplishment?

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

4. Connect with others. Connecting with other people is essential, and it’s a challenge for many older people. Many people get stuck on the idea that there is only one way to connect: Personally and over a meal. There are many ways to connect that will make you feel like like-minded people surround you.

  • Enroll in a class, online, or do in-person classes.
  • Choose a hobby that involves being around more people.
  • Choose a hobby that requires learning and may include travel to add a -little excitement to your life.
  • Join a book club- I have to admit that I have not been excited about a book club yet, but I know many people who love it.
  • Sewing and knitting groups.
  • Walking groups.

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The maintenance of your mental health

The important thing is to find out how to maintain your mental health, and I have only found two things that help me.

  1. Mindfulness: Taking a few minutes to check in with me and see how I’m feeling. It is to be aware of my surroundings. Relax a few minutes a day or meditate, depending on my mood. When I am quiet, I feel that I am giving myself extra care and a chance to regroup.
  1. Write in Journal: I write about four times a week. When I am going through a tough time, I read my entries at the end of the week, and they help me understand my thoughts, which I can use to help myself. There is a time that I feel the need for support, and I look for people that can help me- a professional. There are times that I see that I am not taking care of myself physically, so I am attentive and add more exercises. The weekly check-ins help me stay on track.

How do you check in with yourself and keep your mental health a priority?

Share your ideas with me.

Forever curious.

Mental Health by Marguerite

Main Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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