A large portion of our society views getting older as something unwelcome, bothersome, and troubling. We lament our youth instead of being grateful for the time we’ve been given, and we dwell on the past instead of embracing the present.
Getting on in years is not a fact that needs to be hidden or covered up. It should be celebrated and applauded. After all, it means we’ve survived. Let’s look at six ways you can not only survive, but thrive and stay happy and positive as you age.
There is not a single point in life when you need to say, “the best is behind me.” True, you may not be able to experience some things again, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t wonderful things yet to come.
Instead of living in your memories, live in the present and look forward to the future. It will help you remain positive.
Movement is incredibly important, both for your physical and mental health. Even if you weren’t the kind of person who exercises on a regular basis in your youth, prioritize it as you get older. You don’t even have to develop a full-blown workout routine. You can just add more steps to your day and do some light stretching.
Don’t forget that your mind needs to stay active as well. Challenge it with new activities. Read books you’d never have thought to read before, learn new skills, travel if you can, talk to the people around you. It will help your mind stay sharp.
As we get older, the way we sleep tends to change. Sometimes we need less sleep, sometimes we need more, and our energy levels will certainly not be what they once were.
Consider your circadian rhythm carefully. Do you feel more energized in the morning or the evening? When do you actually like getting up?
Adapt your sleeping and waking hours to your body’s natural clock, if you can. Plenty of people torture themselves their entire career, having to get up early. If that’s not naturally you, don’t beat yourself up. Just give your body the sleeping hours it needs.
As the body gets older, taking care of the aches and pains we would once have simply brushed off becomes more important. No one actually likes going to the doctor, but you should stop skirting your yearly checkups and make sure you’re feeling healthy.
Some level of discomfort and a nagging illness or condition are to be expected. Take them on as a badge of honor and not as a stumbling block. After all, you’ve earned them all, and they are nothing more than a testament to your survival.
As the world seems to be spinning ever faster, you may feel completely out of touch with the modern world at times. Even generations much younger than yours can’t keep up with the lightning speed of technological development.
Embrace what you find useful – smartphones, video calls, Netflix. What you don’t need, don’t let it bother you. Every generation feels a bit obsolete at one point or another, and this is not a feeling you need to dwell on.
Human connection is an incredibly important part of our physical and mental wellbeing. The more we isolate ourselves, the more our minds will inadvertently suffer.
The digital revolution can do a lot to help you stay in touch with your family and friends. They may lead a busier life than you do, but don’t let that prevent you from having a call, playing an online game of chess, or even texting.
Make friends where you live – true, the pandemic is making this much harder at the moment, but as we near its end, it will again be possible to chat with people in the park and the supermarket. Connect with others however and whenever you can. It’s what keeps you young.
Getting older is a state of mind. If you focus on enjoying life rather than on the number of candles on your most recent birthday cake, you’ll find there’s still plenty of fun to have. Your attitude counts for much more than you can imagine, so fuel yourself with positivity and look forward to the days ahead.