Life after 60 is a time of transitions. Our kids have left the home. After decades climbing the corporate ladder, many of us are finding our careers grinding to a halt. Silver divorces are on the rise as many baby boomers re-evaluate their relationships.
All of us, to one degree or another, are nervous about our ability to support ourselves financially when we retire.
With so many factors at play, it’s no surprise that many baby boomers are dealing with depression. According to a recent Gallup Poll, about 1 in 7 baby boomers are currently being treated for depression. This is a higher rate than any other generation, including those older than us.
In addition, according to Gallup, baby boomers are more likely than any other generation to have experienced depression at some point during their lives.
Depression is a complex issue and, in many cases, medication is needed to get a patient back on track. As a result, I would always encourage you to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing anxiety, depression or any similar issue. That said, there are simple things that each of us can do to take matters into our own hands.
For starters, one of the best things that you can do to fight back against depression is get in better shape. This doesn’t have to involve joining a gym. Just going for a long walk every day can improve your mood. Regular exercise has been shown by scientists to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. So, why not give your body and brain the attention it deserves?
One of the risk factors for depression is social isolation. When we spend too much time inside our own heads, our thoughts have a tendency to spin out of control. One of the best ways to address feelings of loneliness or social isolation is to give back. This could be as simple as volunteering for a local charity or becoming a mentor for kids in your city. Check out VolunteerMatch.org for a list of volunteer opportunities in your area.
Finally, nothing will boost your happiness more than having good friends in your life. Take advantage of services like Sixty and Me to meet people who share your interests. You are an amazing person and you deserve all of the happiness in the world!
What advice would you give to a friend who is struggling with anxiety or depression? Why do you think baby boomers are, on average, more depressed than other generations? Please join the conversation.
Here’s a short video that I recorded about depression among baby boomers. I hope you find it interesting.
Tags Finding Happiness