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HomeAnswersGeneral Practitionermental healthHow can my lifestyle impact my mental health as I age?

Can lifestyle affect mental health as we age, and what habits promote cognitive well-being?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 11, 2024
Reviewed AtApril 11, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have been thinking about how my lifestyle affects my mood and brain health, especially as I get older. What habits are important for staying mentally well, especially as time passes? I am also curious about how food affects my brain. Are there certain foods I should eat more of as I get into middle–age to keep my brain sharp? Life can get busy in the middle years. Do you have any advice on simple things I can do to keep my mind in good shape, even with a hectic schedule? Please help.

Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your query and can understand your concern.

As we age, lifestyle choices become increasingly important for maintaining good mental health. I suggest following some habits that become more crucial over time:

  1. Regular exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.

  2. Getting enough sleep: Aim for seven to eight hours each night and establish a consistent sleep schedule.

  3. Managing stress: Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or spending time with nature.

  4. Connecting with others: Combat social isolation by connecting with others through activities like volunteering, joining a club, or spending time with loved ones.

  5. Eating a healthy diet: Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods and sugary drinks.

Incorporating well-being practices into a hectic schedule can be challenging. I suggest some practical tips:

  1. Schedule: Treat self-care activities like non-negotiable appointments on your calendar.

  2. Break it down: Break more prolonged activities into smaller daily increments to fit your schedule.

  3. Find what works for you: Choose self-care activities that suit your preferences and lifestyle.

  4. Be kind to yourself: Remember that self-care is essential, and do not be too hard on yourself if you miss a day – just pick up where you left off.

I hope this helps.

Please revert in case of further queries.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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