Retirement can be a wonderful phase of life for many reasons. However, ageing can also come with physical and mental ailments and difficulties. Depression in old age is very common. Read on to find out ways to deal with depression in old age.

1. Natural retreat

Spending time in nature can really help improve your mood. Loneliness is very common in old age, but solitude can be very healthy and refreshing. Interacting with nature can really help lift a low mood. Walk in the park, listen to the tweeting birds and observe the waving trees.

2.  Healthy body, healthy mind

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you should try and devote some time to do some light exercises. You need not run like an athlete or do exhausting workouts since even a mild walk, cycling, stretching or playing games can keep you on your toes. What is most important for you is to be consistent in doing so. Swimming is an excellent full body exercise to start with.

3. Make a friend circle

Friendship is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety and sadness. Spending hours chatting with friends can change your day. Empathy and understanding go a long way to helping with depression. The people in your friend circle should be around your age with similar interests and concerns so interacting with them can bring great joy. Time will dissipate in their company, and your mood will improve.

4.  Philosophical consolations

Philosophical writings can help you understand yourself, build self-awareness and allow you to reflect on your experiences in peace. Self-realisation is a difficult destination to reach, but the journey itself can be very rewarding. Acceptance of your past and the shedding of regret can help allay anxiety and sadness.

5. Accepting the inevitable

Mortality is one of the greatest human fears, particularly in old age. In addition to your own mortality, you will have to bear the loss of friends and loved ones. It is natural that loss and fear can lead to depression. Accepting the inevitable is not easy, but fighting it is unwise. Surround yourself with friends and enjoy every moment with them. We are all here for a short time, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a fearful one.

6. Seek assistance with daily errands

Are you struggling with chronic aches and pains and not able to perform even routine tasks? Such loss of independence and isolation can lead to depression and sadness. You need not lose heart. You could hire a home care assistant or consider moving to a retirement village. Both have their own benefits. In the former case, you can get help living at home with your family, while in a retirement residence you can get help for the normal routine chores plus a circle of friends with similar concerns.

7. Enjoy yourself & get creative

You know best the activities you enjoy the most. Life is yours, you can do anything you love doing. Retirement and old age are often times of great creative expression, free of the responsibilities of earlier life. It can also be a time to try new things. Join a walking club or learn a new language?

Sketching the world around you on a canvas is an effective way to while away the time productively.  Reading novels will make you feel lighter and bring deep satisfaction. You have seen more of the world than most. Channel your life experience on to the blank paper. Who knows, maybe you have a bestselling novel in you?

Important: If you are suffering from clinical depression, please talk to your GP or seek professional help and counseling from organizations like Aware, Pieta House, or the Samaritans. The Senior Help Line is also an excellent resource.

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