It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, and our Ladies and Gents have some top tips for your mental well-being!
This year’s theme is Nature and connecting with Nature is something our ladies and gentlemen enjoy doing as often as possible.
Green spaces, gardens, and gardening can help make us all feel better both physically and mentally. Sometimes just getting out and walking in Nature can change how we think and feel. Our Ladies and Gentlemen love to go for walks or exercise in the park and local beauty spots.
Getting out into Nature means getting your daily dose of vitamin D, which will help protect your bones and teeth. You will also be getting fresh air, which will help improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress and anger, and regulate your sleep.
Mental Health and Gardening
All of our homes have Gardening clubs or groups, and one has a Men Shed. They all have one thing in common, and that is the sense of pride and satisfaction our ladies and gentlemen get from working with their hands and growing flowers or vegetables.
Gardening expert Monty Don said: “We garden to nurture our little corner of Nature but just as importantly, to nourish our souls. More and more people are tapping into gardening’s healing power. Plant a seed that becomes a beautiful flower, and your life is immeasurably enriched. Simply sit in a garden and listen to the birds, and the world is set in a perspective that is empowering. Gardens are fun and beautiful and rewarding – but much more than that, gardens are desperately important, and we need them now more than ever for our physical and mental well-being.”
To read more about how gardening can help your Mental Health check out our story, ‘National Gardening Week and Mental Health’.
How can singing help your Mental Health?
Our Ladies and Gentlemen love to sing; in fact, the whole Towerview Care Family loves singing, who doesn’t!! Now whether we can carry a tune or not is another matter, but it really does not matter. Because whether you sound like Doris Day or next doors cat trapped in the cat flap, solid scientific evidence proves that singing is great for your body and mind.
A joint study at Harvard and Yale found that singing could boost your longevity and reduce the risk of dementia.
To find out more about this, read our story ‘Can singing really reduce my risk of dementia?’.
What are the benefits of singing?
Singing can improve Mental Health and moods.
Researchers evaluated 20 people over six months for a 2018 study called ‘Sing Your Heart Out: community singing as part of mental health recovery’. The participants included those living with mental health conditions and the general public.
They found that the participants reported improvements in their Mental Health, sense of well-being, moods, and feeling of belonging due to these singing workshops.
So that’s the science, now let’s watch this video of our Winnie. 😊
Singing can reduce stress.
Singing can relieve stress. In a 2017 study, scientists measured the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in saliva before and after their participants sang.
The study found cortisol levels were significantly lower after singing, which proves that we are more relaxed after a good sing along.
Another study found that levels could increase if the person was made anxious by singing, for instance, if they had to sing in public on their own. So if you suffer from stage fright singing in the shower is the solution to keeping your levels up!
Joan has no problem with singing in public. 😊
Singing can also help improve:
- Speaking abilities,
- Stimulate your immune system,
- Increase an individual’s pain threshold,
- Improve lung function,
- Develop your sense of belonging and connection.
It can also evoke memories and melt your heart, so the question should really be why you aren’t singing more!
Animals and Mental Health
Animals are an excellent source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
They can be great motivators; for instance, dogs require walking, which often leads to conversations with other dog owners or just admires. This enables the owner to stay socially active. Those who are socially connected tend to be less withdrawn and have healthier relationships.
They provide a source of companionship, which gives their owners a sense of security and someone to share their daily routine with. Pets can be especially valuable company later in life and for those living alone.
For our ladies and gentlemen, pet therapy gives a wonderful boost to their mental well-being. Multiple studies have cited the benefits of pet therapy, such as improved moods, more social interaction, a calming effect, decreased behavioural problems and enhanced physical activity. In fact, in one study, they placed aquariums in a home and found that the ladies and gents ate more.
Let the music move you!
Whether your 80 or 8, years old there is something you have in common, when the beat takes you, you can’t help but tap your feet!
Regardless of the kind of music you love or dancing you prefer, one thing’s for sure: The physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of dancing are the same.
Mental Health and the Benefits of dance
Dancing can benefit us in so many ways. Whether you are dancing in the kitchen on your own, waltzing at a tea dance or rocking out in the middle of a festival, you are experiencing the same things.
I can see you looking quizzically at the screen and saying, “really, those dancing with elegance and precision to Mantovovani are experiencing the same as those jumping up and down to Metallica!” The short answer is yes!
The physical side of dance is exercise. So, the physical benefits of dancing are similar to those of other cardio activities. So, whilst there may be more technique to a foxtrot than moshing, as long as your heart is pumping, they are both doing you good.
Research shows that dancing can maintain or even boost your ability to think as you age. According to some studies, this happens because some areas of the brain that control memory and skills, such as planning and organizing, improve with exercise like dance. It also has the additional benefit of improving balance through rhythm and music.
Dance is inclusive; even if you cannot stand, you can move your upper body, tap your feet, move your hands or head along with the music. It can be a social activity, or you can do it alone. It can be an intensely personal act or a group activity. Music can carry some people away. Those who shy away from interactions usually can become positively outgoing when they are on the dancefloor!
If you feel stressed and looking for something to lift your mood, why not read our story ‘Channelling your Stress into Creativity’ and see if there is a stress buster just waiting for you!