Home Mental Health & Well-Being Going Green Can Be Beneficial to the Mental Health of Older People

Going Green Can Be Beneficial to the Mental Health of Older People

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Research has shown that spending time in green surroundings can be beneficial to one’s health. So in this way, can going green at home help to alleviate the effects of modern-day stress and ageing?

People’s mental health is influenced by more than their understanding of the implications of climate change on our world. It’s also how climate change affects economics and employment, which have ramifications for nations, governments, communities, families, and individuals. Experts suggest that living a more sustainable lifestyle may help people (old and young) to overcome depression and anxiety.

While living a green lifestyle is a goal that anybody can pursue, it can be challenging for seniors and their caregivers to do so owing to the time commitment. Prioritizing green home practices can make it easier to be environmentally conscious.

Plant a garden and eat organic

Seniors can stay active by cultivating a garden and growing their own plants. Those who are involved in soil tilling and plant watering are more likely to adopt green living practices and enjoy the fruits of their labour. Gardening encourages self-sufficiency and self-confidence.  Having a garden full of good food can reduce anxiousness and boost motivation. Being a part of a larger process gives senior citizens a sense of power. Processed foods can be harmful to seniors’ immune systems so encouraging a diet of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables is beneficial to their health. Going green makes people feel more linked to the planet’s well-being, which is a vital responsibility. This can help people feel less anxious and more connected to others.

Buy green

When one lives a healthy lifestyle, mindfulness develops naturally. For the older generations, this might be extremely beneficial. As people consider the environmental impact of their daily activities, they become more aware of how their behaviors affect their moods and emotions. As a result, they are more focused and less worried.

This can be applied to all areas of life, from refusing to use single-use containers and packaging to choosing eco-friendly alternative bed pads. By doing this, a person becomes a member of a community that is socially supportive and environmentally conscious. This enhances their outlook on life and alleviates depressive symptoms as everyone is working together for the greater good. 

Get some fresh air

Nature is the best healthcare network there is. Air pollution is harmful to everyone’s lungs and hearts and there is mounting evidence that particular pollutants are linked to mental illnesses such as depression, panic attacks, dementia, and even suicide. By encouraging seniors to take walks in nature, they can be assured that the fresh air will replenish their systems and give them the boost they require. Even if they have limited mobility they should be encouraged to use mobility scooters to get around and spend time in nature. Some seniors may find it challenging to become green indoors, but caregivers can take steps to enhance air quality by periodically opening windows and providing good ventilation. 

Seniors and caregivers who follow green living principles help to conserve the environment while also improving their own health and well-being. Even the tiniest efforts to generate sustainability in one’s personal environment are a move toward a healthier living space and mindset.

Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

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