It’s not uncommon to think of our elder years as a period of decline and loss – many of us worry that we will no longer be independent, healthy, our socially active. Our fears cause us to deny, try to prevent, or even find a way to escape the process of aging. The truth is that seniors possess lots of knowledge, skills and talents that result from a long life. The joys of grandchildren, freedom thanks to retirement, and travel opportunities are just a few of the benefits to aging. Furthermore, seniors possess wisdom and strength gathered throughout their lives. Our senior years really can be our best years.
Start enjoying your senior years by changing the way you look at “old age”. As we get older, we question if we are past our years of growth and learning, and we have to search harder for a sense of purpose. Finding a sense of purpose starts with the belief that you still have a lot to learn and plenty of ways to help the community. A sense of purpose boosts the self-esteem at any age, and it’s a key part of staying positive and optimistic as we age.
Many seniors like to create as a way to cultivate a sense of purpose, but there are so many ways to get motivated without artistic or crafty pursuits. Helping out family or being a good listener for friends can be great ways to help others. If you have lived long enough to be a “senior”, you have also probably acquired quite a few interests and skills and honed them over a lifetime. These abilities can be especially useful in the community, providing benefits for everyone involved.
It’s important to continue to engage in new relationships at every age. Seniors have the unique opportunity to connect with the community when they share their experiences. It takes strength to live to old age, and the resiliency seniors have developed can help those who are currently suffering as they navigate difficult situations. By explaining their feelings and methods of coping, seniors can offer comfort to those in need of guidance.
Optimistic senior life is primarily a point of view. Focus your energies on the positive aspects of aging and you will enjoy your life more. Moreover your attitude and optimistic perspective will allow you to avoid depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. If you are looking for ways to help realign your perspective on your age, below are some ideas on how to enjoy your “best” years:
Write, learn to dance, paint, build something, sing – challenging yourself and engaging in activities that express your feelings create.
Retirement is a delightful time to finally visit old friends, take trips you always dreamed of, and reconnect with family. Maintaining relationships prevents loneliness and provides an excellent source of personal support.
Find out if you can help family in some way, volunteer in your community, or ask a neighbor if you can lend a hand. Volunteering is a great way to find purpose and boost your self-esteem.
Take Care of Yourself.
Find new ways to enjoy what your body does for you. Enjoy a healthy, satisfying diet, get some exercise, keep an eye on your sleep habits, and make sure to see your doctor as recommended.
Tell Your Stories.
Speak about your experiences and take pride in the accomplishments of your life. Talking about the life you have led can help famly, friends, and the community maintain a link to the past.
Schedule Some Social Time.
Make plans with friends – friendships are a wonderful way to find support for a positive perspective, and by making plans you create structure and increase your motivation and optimism.
Remember – these are the best years of your life, and you’ve earned them! Enjoy them!