Aging and Depression

Aging and Depression
As we get older, looking in the mirror becomes a reminder that we aren’t so “young” anymore. That’s a difficult thing to deal with, and for some, it’s devastating. It not only means that our youthful looks have faded away, but also that we don’t have “our whole lives ahead of us.” That realization can lead to depression.

I wish I could tell you that I have a lead on the fountain of youth or some magic youth pill, but I don’t. I struggle with these things, too. However, there are a few things we can do to help us feel better about the aging process.

• Accomplish things!
Part of what has bothered me about getting older is feeling that I haven’t done the things I wanted to do. When we’re young, we keep thinking we have all the time in the world, and then one day we wake up and realize that the time is slipping away. If there’s something that you really want to do, find a way to do it!

• Work on relationships!
We’ve all heard that the best things in life are free, and this is really true. I mean, it would be great to have a big, beautiful house on the beach and a BMW, but without the people we love, we wouldn’t be happy with those things. Relationships with people who are important to you are what matters most in life. Cultivate those relationships, and you’ll have far fewer regrets at the end of the road.

• Take care of yourself!
Back to the mirror…noticing those little lines around our eyes and a few (or more) extra pounds as we grow older is not easy. As long as we are living, we can’t stop the aging process, but we can do some things to make the best of who we are, how we look, and how we feel.

• Hydrate!
One of the reasons our skin gets dry as we age is because we don’t get enough water. Dry skin shows signs of aging, including wrinkling, quicker than moist skin, so drink lots of water.

• Moisturize!
Using a good moisturizer, especially around the eyes, forehead and mouth, where wrinkles tend to appear first, will smooth out some of the fine lines and will make them less obvious. If you start doing this soon enough, it can delay the onset of wrinkling.

• Exfoliate!
All those dead skin cells sit on top of our skin looking dry and dull, making us look “old.” If you can’t afford microdermabrasion, get some apricot scrub, and give your skin a good scrub (taking it easy around your eyes). You’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your skin looks and feels!

• Eat healthy!
The way we look on the outside is a reflection of how healthy we are on the inside. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain antioxidants and all the other good things we need, helps us to be healthier. If you eat meat, always choose the leaner meats. Fish is a great choice for protein.

• Exercise!
I know how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise, especially when you’re depressed, but it’s so important. Not only will it help you shed some of those pounds you hate so much, but it also increases your energy level and helps you feel better.

• Get a makeover!
If you’re stuck in a rut, make some changes. Try a new hairstyle. And if those little white hairs are driving you nuts, get rid of them! Hair color is practically youth in a bottle. And get out of those “granny clothes.” There’s nothing wrong with wearing slouchy, comfy clothes, but wearing something a little more youthful can make all the difference in the world in how you perceive yourself.

• Count your blessings!
Probably the most important thing of all is to appreciate the good things in your life. Don’t take for granted that you have your health, your family, your home, etc. Hold onto those great memories, feel good about your accomplishments, and consider yourself blessed to be loved.

Aging will never be something we get excited about, but taking the steps outlined above can help ease the pain of it. Go for a walk, drink a glass of water, and give someone you love a hug!

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