When you think about aging, what you are actually thinking about is being alive.
Oftentimes people tend to allow corporations and their advertising campaigns to define what aging is through all of the anti-aging and look-younger products that are being pushed at us in the media and markets, indirectly telling us that the aging process isn’t desirable. Whether it’s gray hair, wrinkles, or reduced energy levels, capitalistic business tries to take advantage and convince us to spend money to change ourselves.
Of course, you’re entitled to spend your own money how you want, but be sure it’s on your own terms. Looking younger isn’t being younger, but if that’s what works for you, then spend away! Just don’t let the ad campaigns make you feel inferior, because you’ve developed considerable amounts of experience through your life’s adventures that give you greater insight and wisdom to deal with challenges than a younger person, who may be overwhelmed by them.
Having more free time in retirement can enable older adults to do things they’ve only dreamed about.
Whether it’s going on trips to places on your bucket list, starting a new career in something that’s always interested you, spending more quality time with loved ones, or taking a course at a nearby college or online. You could even teach a course in something you’re good at as an enrichment class for others to expand their skill sets, or attend an enrichment class yourself.
Having more time also offers you the ability to volunteer with different organizations that fit your fancy. Many these days are in desperate need, creating a win-win scenario.
In addition to more time, seniors may also have greater disposable income due to Medicare and Social Security guaranteeing basic health insurance and a minimum income. Senior discounts are also a very nice perk to advancing in years, as they can be found nearly everywhere.
Of course, your mental and physical fitness level is a big influence on how much you might tend to enjoy your later years.
Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging for aging “successfully,” to help you stay healthy and deal with potential cognitive challenges:
- Learn a new skill.
- Follow a daily routine.
- Plan tasks, make to-do lists, and use memory tools such as calendars and notes.
- Put your wallet or purse, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place each day.
- Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.
- Volunteer in your community, at a school, or at your place of worship.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Get enough sleep, generally seven to eight hours each night.
- Exercise and eat well.
- Prevent or control high blood pressure.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
- Get help if you feel depressed for weeks at a time.
There’s no point in trying to fight aging—we either advance in years or not, and until that final day arrives for each and every one of us, it would be wise to make the most of the advantages we’ve earned over the years.
Kevin McGrath is schlepping toward retirement and is looking forward to his next adventure on the highway of Life.
Excerpted from the Winter ’22 – ’23 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.