I was recently talking about being a sixty-something, and I could see from the expression on the other person’s face, that she was surprised I’d already reached this milestone. To be honest, that felt good.
It is funny how your idea of old evolves as you get older. I remember reading the obituary of a man I first worked for when we came to Canada. I realized he must have been forty-eight then and he seemed so old to us. Of course now that we’re long past that age, it seems young. It’s all relevant.
So how do you keep yourself feeling young and vibrant? Good question and there’s no real magic pill to take, but there are some pointers on how you can make your life more meaningful and hopefully, longer-lasting.
1. Your attitude
How does the saying go, you are only as old as you feel. I recall getting all depressed when I turned sixty, and then I gave myself a shake and realized just because others were retiring, didn’t mean that I had to, if I didn’t want to. Sixty is just a number.
2. Stay active
Keeping your body moving, despite the aches and pains that can creep up on you as you age, staying active is important. Make a deal with yourself that you will workout on a regular basis, play golf or pursue some activity that makes you stretch and move your muscles.
3. Work your brain
My mother in law was “with-it” right to the end and when she died at 85, she was still doing the crossword daily, playing bridge and reading the newspaper. Others like to indulge in scrabble, puzzles and the like. It is never too late to learn.
4. Stay connected
Recent research has shown that it is people who socialize with friends who live longer. Those friendships reduce your isolation and keep you young, especially if you have friends of all ages, not just your peers.
5. Look after your body
Listen to your body. Pay attention when you are doing too much and make sure you follow a healthy diet. You are what you eat.
6. Give back – volunteer
It can be very rewarding to help someone else and see them blossom as a result of your efforts. Or perhaps you can lend your expertise to a local board or help fundraise for your favourite charity. Thinking beyond yourself is good for you.
7. Keep up appearances
While you don’t have to be wearing the latest in fashions, you want to feel good about yourself. Have your hair cut regularly. Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure from time to time. Indulge in facial and you will glow.
8. Let go of grudges
Life is too short to hold on to all that negative energy which can eat away at you, and age you prematurely.
9. Say sorry
Take care of unfinished business. If you feel you owe someone an apology – give it.
10. Stay in the present
Focus on the now, not the past. None of us knows how long we have, so make the most of the time you have.
11. Keep your sense of humour
It will get you through the worst of times and laughter is good for you.