The following is a guest post. I know not everyone is my age so hopefully a new perspective will be nice. Enjoy!
As we cross the threshold from “middle aged” to our “twilight years,” there’s plenty for us to look forward to. After all, as an empty-nester, now is the time for us to put ourselves first and to discover the passions that we’ve always been too busy to pursue. Contrary to popular belief, now is the time to lead a merry life.
Work the Body to Feed the Soul
The more you move about, the more endorphins you will get flowing through your body and the better you will feel. Physical exercise has the ability to alleviate pain, increase mobility, and bolster energy and more. Furthermore, it will help with your weight and a number of chronic diseases too, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. However, there is more to working out than simply getting your circulation going. Firstly, you can explore new hobbies like yoga, tai chi, hiking, biking and more, empowering you to broaden your horizons. Secondly, there are increasing amounts of classes and clubs that have likeminded individuals that will provide friendly encourage to exceed your own expectations.
Your Emotional Relationships Keeps You Young at Heart
With you and your peers now not being burdened with young children to take care of, there is no time like the present to forge new friendships. As mentioned above, there are plenty of organizations that provide enriching activities for seniors; an added bonus is that many will provide transportation if you need it. If you cannot find a group that suits your specific interests, ask about forming one at a nearby senior center, there are still numerous avenues to pursue if it’s a struggle to leave the home. Social media channels like Facebook will enable you to share photographs and messages with friends and family; online book clubs will connect you with others across the country that have similar interests as you; and Skype gives you the ability to physically see people you are chatting with, regardless of whether they’re next store or continents away.
Create a Safe Environment
Merriment is about lightheartedness and fun. This doesn’t mean neglecting the reality of aging, but rather embracing it to the best of your abilities. Of course you’re not going to be as limber as you were thirty years ago, and it is wise to plan ahead in case medical emergencies occur. Make sure to make a list of emergency contacts and place it in a prominent spot where you and others can find it. As you age you become greater at risk to fall down due to age, disease, and other various events that will occur in your life. Another additional help would be to get a medical alert system, like the one found here. You may have to never activate the device to seek immediate medical attention, but it will grant you peace of mind by simply knowing that it’s an option.
Do Not Neglect Your Spiritual Beliefs
Whatever you believe spiritually, take the time to practice on a regular basis. If you are not able to attend meetings, or go to church, get in touch with the one of the leaders and ask for a visit. Any spiritual leader will be more than willing to come to your home, perhaps bringing others if you are up to it, and spend time being with you. People with strong religious convictions are more able to push away depression and will be happier in general with their lives. Of course, “spirituality” is not necessarily synonymous with “religion.” There are plenty of nondenominational groups that encourage inflection, meditation and connection with others without reference to a specific god; such practices are healthy, regardless of whether you are Catholic or atheist.
Your Intellectual Health Keeps Your Dreams Alive
They say that with age comes wisdom, so there’s no reason you can’t further your learning on a daily basis. Now that you don’t have as much responsibilities on your plate, you can sit down and read the news! Plus, there are plenty of online courses found at Osher specifically targeted to older adults.
Other ideas on how to stay mentally engaged? Sit with your grandchildren and tell them what it was like 60 years ago. Watch their faces when you try to explain what life was like without the Internet, mobile phones. Then, take the time to listen to them and learn how they live life. Do not be afraid to get a smartphone and use it to look up something on the Internet. Get an email address and stay in touch with your friends who have moved away. Do not turn your back on technology, embrace it and you will have a completely new world to explore, and the time to do it.
Maintaining a Merry Life as You Age
Maintaining a high quality of life starts with you and your attitude. Make your own merriment by not saying “no” to yourself and seeking out new adventures. Whether you decide to finally take that long desired trip to the Great Redwood Forest, or simply to venture outside the home to check out the latest exhibition at the local art museum, seize opportunities to have adventures, strengthen social bonds and physically take care of yourself. After all, you’re worth it!