Depression is deadly if not diagnosed and treated in time. It is a root cause of some behavioral abnormalities and suicidal tendencies. A depressed man or woman can sometimes become a ticking bomb that needs to be monitored, taken care of and treated. No one wants to be depressed but sometimes, life situations and unforeseen circumstances may make someone depressed.
Old age and retirement can be depressing if not checked or prepared for. Getting old introduces you to many changes that you may find difficult to accept and adapt to. Your body becomes weak, your opinions are ignored, your kids leave home, you become more dependent and some illnesses start attacking you. Even if you were the strongest man or woman, ageing can easily overcome you and as such, you may start feeling useless, abandoned and depressed.
Retirement is the reality of old age. If you started early to plan, you may retire by the age of 50 years but if you are among the late bloomers, your retirement may be voluntarily extended to 70 years. Whichever time you retire, you need to try as much as possible to avoid depression, and one of the simplest ways to do this is by allotting 30 minutes of your time every day for some outdoor activity.
Exercise Is an Elixir for Depression
Devoting 30 minutes of your retirement time every day to engage with nature can be rewarding. Imagine finding yourself without work or activity to pass your days; you may feel that you have been deprived of your favorite toy. This is why you need to find something to do which will help you prevent or combat depression.
Every day, you are expected to devote at least 30 minutes to fight depression. You can take a walk in the park; walk your dog on new tracks or hike if your strength can carry it.
According to research carried out on the residents of Brisbane by UQ CEED researcher Dr. Danielle Shanahan, 40% of the people did not visit the parks in a week, thereby losing the benefits of communing with nature. According to her, visiting parks and communicating with nature from time to time can reduce the risk of heart disease, depression, stress and anxiety. She also stated that “If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week, there would be seven percent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure.”
Apart from communicating with nature, you can walk for 30 minutes around your neighborhood and also enjoy some benefits.
• It strengthens your heart and prevents cardiovascular disease. As you walk, the risk of heart disease and stroke is reduced. Walking increases circulation, controls high blood pressure, increases good cholesterol (HDL) and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL).
• It reduces risks of some diseases like type 2 diabetes, some types of cancers and asthma.
• It helps you to maintain the ideal weight that will best suit your age. As you walk every day, you increase your metabolism, burn off fats and increase muscle mass and tone.
• It helps you to fight depression. Walking can clear your head and change your perspective. As you move along the road and take note of your environment, things that appeared too depressing may be seen as blessings in disguise.
Instead of allowing depression to creep in and overtake your mind, is it better to avoid it by devoting 30 minutes every day to walking or communing with nature. During retirement, you can no longer use lack of time as an excuse for not doing certain things because if there is something you now have in abundance, it is time. If you are not too strong, you can reduce your pace instead of avoiding it entirely.
Remember, depression is a disease and requires treatment which costs money. Save your retirement income from the stress of medical bills by following these preventive strategies today.