Well-being is the combination of mental health, physical health, spiritual health – also called mind, body, and spirit – and all the other aspects of your life that make you feel satisfied that your life is going well.
This section provides an overview of mindfulness – how to be fully aware of your mind, body, and spirit and to use that awareness to make your best choices about every aspect of your health and well-being.
Well-being is important at all ages. However, as you get older you may need to revise how you take care of yourself to meet new challenges and maintain a sense of well-being. You may need to change your diet and sleep habits; find new ways to exercise; reach out to build relationships with family and friends; and maintain or find new activities you enjoy.
At VA we want to provide the professional care you need, and also encourage you to think about other ways you can enhance your well-being.
This section describes 8 well-being components, which include programs and resources that you can use to take charge of your own well-being.
Stay active – it’s fun and it has health benefits. You may:
Choose activities you enjoy. The “best” exercise or activity is the type you will actually do. The goal is to keep moving.
The programs and resources listed below are offered in communities throughout the U.S. and are not specifically endorsed by the VA. Open the link to learn more about the program/resource and to find a location near you.
Classes and group activities:
National Council on Aging (NCOA)
Pamphlet: Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls
Being in a safe supportive environment is important at home, work, or out in your community.
The programs and resources listed below are offered in communities throughout the U.S. and are not specifically endorsed by the VA. Open the link to learn more about the program/resource and to find a location near you.Adult Protective Services (APS) – Receive help and support if you are experiencing:
Ask your doctor or social worker for a referral for assistance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Fact Sheet: Depression is Not a Normal Part of Aging
Department of Health and Human Services
Resource Locator Tool by zip-code: Eldercare Locator
At any age it is important to look at how you spend your time. Whether you still work or are retired:
The programs and resources listed below are offered in communities throughout the U.S. and are not specifically endorsed by the VA. Open the link to learn more about the program/resource and to find a location near you.ReServe
Your body changes with age. So do your nutritional needs. You may not be thirsty and forget to drink or food may not taste the same. Your diet may need to change as part of your efforts to manage conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Ask for a referral to a dietitian, if needed.
Your medications may interact with certain foods. Ask your primary care provider if there are diet changes you need to make to avoid food/drug interactions.
Sleep helps your body and your mind to function at their best. Improve your sleep by following these sleep tips:
Talk with your primary care provider if you have serious problems with sleep or often feel tired or fatigued.
Being connected to others – even pets – is important.
Informative blog posts by Dr. Pepper Schwartz, AARP’s expert on sex and relationships who offers advice on:
Work with a team of professionals to help you make a desired health change
People often find that with age, a focus on a larger meaning and purpose in life becomes more important.
This may involve:
You may continue lifelong religious or spiritual activities. Or, you may find a new practice that reflects your values.
Meaning and spirituality can provide you with strength and comfort in difficult times. And, it can deepen your sense of appreciation and gratitude in good times.
Communities of Faith
Parks and Recreation Department
Your mind impacts your body. It can do this in both positive and negative ways.
Think about how people use their mind to:
Use mind-body techniques to optimize your body’s ability to heal and cope with mental and physical stress.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Center for Mindfulness
You can find even more ways to enhance your well-being through classes, trainings, and other resources at your own VA medical center and greater community. Here are some ways to find them:
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated January 20, 2015