In this post, I want to look at how to embrace aging, as it is going to happen to all of us, whether we like it or not.
Becoming older does not mean life has come to a standstill. even though your physical body may not be able to go on a 10-kilometer run anymore, it does not mean you cannot participate in a small trek. The idea is to keep your mind alive and enjoy the freedom that comes with aging.
Let us look at how to embrace aging in a proactive and healthy manner so that you can enjoy your golden years to the fullest.
How To Embrace Aging
You did not work hard all those years to feel regret.
In later years, you begin to understand that some things will not change, and by accepting those facts, the mind has a chance to relax and allow you to enjoy the pleasures that come with age.
Not only is this healthy for your mind, but negative thinking can literally cause physical ailments.
According to Dr. Dan Brennan with WebMD.com explained, “Negative emotions can cause stress, which in turn impacts your health. Stress can destroy your body’s hormone balance, impair the immune system, and drain your positive brain chemicals.
Negative energy in the form of poorly expressed anger can cause dysfunction of the heart and digestive system”. Instead of a negative environment, try being around others that are more positive. You have earned that right.
Let Go Of Outdated Notions
Don’t identify with outdated stereotypes about older adults. Just because you’ve hit a milestone birthday doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be active or involved anymore. Today, people stay in the workforce longer and take better care of themselves than previous generations ever did.
It’s no longer about retiring and sitting in your rocking chair all day. Many of the people I know are more active now in retirement than they were working 40 hours a week.
Decades ago, more people were secretive about their ages. Today, many older adults feel comfortable enough embracing their years to let their hair go gray, demonstrating that their life experience is an asset, not something to be ashamed of.
“People are not aging the way that their parents and grandparents were aging,” Langer says. “The model for what it means to be older is changing. Eighty is the new 60.”
Keep Your Engine Running Smoothly
Just as you would not let your car run out of oil, The same goes for your body.
It is essential to eat healthily and hydrate often. Even more so as we age. According to the National Center For Aging, they recommend the following guidelines:
- Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
- Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta)
- Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
If you reward your body with good nutrients, your days will be filled with good times instead of regret. Yes, you can still have that cookie after dinner.
Get A New Hobby
Now that you have more time than you ever did in your adult life, it is a great excuse to find a new project that will renew your passion in life.
The children are grown, the home is quiet, and your work life is complete. At this point, you have two paths. Go down the depression lane or start a new goal. Have you always wanted to have a garden? This is the perfect time to utilize this hobby. Maybe you wanted to learn photography. Take a few classes at the local library. Reward yourself with a road trip to capture new memories. Start a blog, and who knows this could even become a second income for you.
Don’t forget to dance, as being physically fit, especially as you age, is a top priority.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, “Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely. When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.”
If you are not quite ready to hit the gym, turn on some music and have your own dance party while doing chores. Not only will the exercise make you feel better, but your mind will thank you for the boost in your mood.
Have Friends Of All Ages
People with friends from different generations tend to feel younger than those whose friends are all their age. Younger friends may help you try new things or challenge long-held beliefs, and older friends can serve as role models for aging gracefully.
Most people have keepsakes, whether in the form of photos, or trinkets, maybe old kitchenware from grandmothers. This is a good time to say goodbye. Go through your boxes and decide once and for all if you can gift the item or give it to a secondhand store. By cleaning up your living space, your anxiety around having too many chores can quiet down. Your day can be spent doing something enjoyable instead of dusting all your trinkets. They will still be there when you get back. Go live your life.
Remember that everything ages. This is the cycle of life. You can succumb to its limitations or go take life by the horns. As famed musician John Lennon quote, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”