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Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy In Your Golden Years

Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy In Your Golden Years

There are a number of myths regarding aging.  Some people may mistakenly believe that aging inevitably involves getting sick or disabled, while others may think that all adults face memory loss in their later years.  Even more people may think that once you reach a certain age, there is less that you can contribute to society and that you are done learning.  All of these beliefs are absolutely false.  In fact, many people find that the years following retirement are filled with health, vitality, and meaning.  Since we are all going to get to those golden years eventually, here are a few tips to consider that may help to make that stage of life some of the best years you’ll ever have.

1- Keep your mind sharp

Your mind is like any muscle in your body; the more you exercise it, the stronger it will be.  In earlier years, it may have been easy to keep your mind active while problem-solving at work or at home, but as you age, though, you may need to plan specific activities to engage the mind.  Some of the best ways to exercise the mind is by learning a new skill or hobby.  Consider learning a foreign language.  If you’ve always regretted never learning to play the piano, take a class.  Reading is also a great way to keep the mind growing and learning, so either join or form a book club in your area to allow yourself the opportunity to discuss ideas and thoughts regarding the books you are reading.

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2- Volunteer

Volunteering is one of the best ways to give your life meaning and purpose.  As you help others, you can feel a greater gratitude for the things that you have and a greater connection to the people around you.  No matter where you live, there are sure to be boundless volunteer opportunities.  Visit a local elementary school for opportunities to reach out to the children in your community and help them to learn and succeed.  Local government and nonprofit agencies are also often in great need of help.  Contact hospitals in your area for more ideas on how you can serve.

3- Eat well

A body needs proper fuel to remain strong and active.  As you age, your digestive system tends to slow down, and as a result, foods that are high in fiber are of special importance.  At the same time, older adults are more susceptible to dehydration, so it is important that you drink a lot of water every day.  In addition, don’t let meal times become boring or lonely—make an effort to make your food look and taste good even if you are only cooking for one or two.  Seek out other adults to spend meal time with so that you can enjoy social interaction while you are enjoying your food.

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4- Stay in touch with loved ones and friends

For some, aging equals loneliness and isolation.  As children leave home and move away, you leave the workforce and the relationships you built there, and friends and loved ones pass away, it may become easy to feel lost or forgotten.  It is vital that you continue to stay in touch with those you care about—your role in their lives may be different, but it can be equally important.  Learn to use technology to stay connected.  Spend time emailing friends, children, and grandchildren.  Resurrect the lost art of letter-writing by regularly writing to loved ones who have moved away.

5-Exercise

Even if you have never participated in regular exercise, it’s never too late to start.  Before beginning a new exercise program, however, it is important that you get your doctor’s permission.  After visiting with your doctor, find some form of activity that interests you and that you like to participate in.  Look for health clubs that have classes especially for older adults.  Exercising does not have to be overly strenuous either; going for a brisk walk every day could be a great way to stay healthy and active.

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6- Stay Positive

So much of how we feel is dependent upon our thoughts.  Sometimes the best way to fight discouragement and loneliness is by reminding yourself of all of the things that you have to be grateful for every day.  Moreover, try to find something to laugh about as you go about your day.  If you find yourself facing severe discouragement or depression, seek out professional help right away to assess whether or not you may be facing senior depression.

The possibilities and adventures that await as you enter your golden years are endless.  Seek out new experiences and enjoy the opportunities that you never had time to pursue before.  By doing so, you can make the later years of your life some of the most exciting, meaningful years of you have ever experienced.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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