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As we are in the green old age, life pressures may begin to dawn on us as we start to plan for the days ahead. Perhaps we are well-prepared, and your finances have already been sorted. However, finding a routine or activities to do as well as spending time with family members day in and out can be counted as sources of pressure. The greatest worry is when we are not yet financially prepared for retirement, but the age of retirement is fast coming. What would we do without an income? Especially when our kids still depend on us. What should we do? It may appear that our health is going downhill, and we have no idea whether it is serious or not. Obviously, we do not want others to get worried. What should we do? When all these pressures add up, our emotion may be affected. If we do not tackle these situations, it may worsen with time.

 

On the other hand, many people who take care of their old folks in the family say that they are mentally and emotionally disturbed. They do not know how to make themselves feel less depressed, nor do they know where to seek help.

 

First of all, we would like to share with you how, under normal circumstances, we can make ourselves feel better when we are the pressures of life are seemingly too overwhelming. These are some perspectives that you could adopt to allow yourself to appreciate life and alleviate some of the hardships you may be facing.

  • We should understand, accept and face our emotions and we should not blame ourselves because we have tried our best.
  • If the emotional responses involve other people, such as the elderly folks we care about or those who take care of us, we should know how the other party feels and the hardship they face physically and mentally.
  • We should ask ourselves according to our actual abilities and not set too high an expectation for ourselves as well as others. This will avoid a greater sense of frustration.
  • We should learn how a problem can be effectively solved and face problems boldly instead of avoiding them. For if not, the problems will only get worse. We can share our feelings with people we can trust and find an outlet for our pent-up emotions.
  • Always stay optimistic. Try your best to do so!
  • Learn various ways of self-relaxation, such as listening to music, taking deep breaths, meditation and more. Be creative with this one.
  • Join more healthy social activities, build up an interpersonal network of support and improve your interpersonal relationships.
  • Reflect on whether or not you always say negative and insensible things such as “I will never make it”, “I am useless”, “No one will like me” and so on. Try to change these. Learn to appreciate yourself: Think about the things you are good at. Focus on your positive attributes and give play to your talents. Remember, you are your worst critic at the end of the day.
  • If you find you that in a state of prolonged emotional disturbance, seek medical advice or go to a mental health comprehensive community centre for assistance.

There is nothing wrong about expressing, let alone feeling emotions, and if only we can face it properly, it can become our own drive. If you wish to know more about various emotional problems which you may encounter at later stages in life, you may go to the section on “Sharing from Experts”. There is a special feature written by Dr Gabriel Yu, a psychogeriatric specialist, where you can read more about the causes of emotional problems and how to deal with them.

 

A discussion corner is found on this page, and readers are free to share their experiences there. 


Related websites/articles
  1. 老有所醫:培養正向心態 減壓保持健康(Chinese version only)
  2. Department of Health, Elderly Health Service, coping with anxiety
  3. Mental Health Education, Castle Peak Hospital (Chinese version only)
  4. For the more academically minded
  5. Eason Chan Sings To Promote Mental Well Being. My Personal Sharing Too: Shall We Talk
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