After hitting forty, it seems almost everybody starts to dread their next birthday. At least some people do anyway? The realities of getting older are beginning to hit them, and they want the process to stop as soon as possible. It is possible to look at getting older as an exiting process, certainly if it is done gracefully.
Aging with grace means taking care of yourself physically and mentally as well. Aging with grace will give those around you a positive impression of aging itself especially if you’re able to highlight the beauty in age.
As you get older, it goes without saying that taking care of your physical self is even more important. As an elderly person, it’s possible to have to face many physical health problems. Arthritis, is one common health problem that people confront as they get older. Type II Diabetes is often another. Dealing with these health issues is really as simple as it sounds; make sure you visit your doctor to investigate any symptoms you notice.
It’s easy to say, but taking care of yourself early on is the key to avoiding many potential health issues. Don’t give up if you’ve neglected yourself for a number of years though! just start now. There are things you can do that don’t involve the doctor, such as eating healthy, and introducing a mild form of exercise to your day.
Though aging with grace can be made difficult by health related matters, mental state of mind is truly “your everything”. Prevention is the key, so stay in tune with your body, notice the small changes. If you’re finding your memory isn’t as good, then once you’ve visited your doctor to rule out any serious impediments, try memory encouraging exercises, such as mentally stimulating projects; crossword puzzles, reading the paper regularly, tv games shows that focus on thinking. Your brain is a muscle like any other part of your body, and using it is the best way to prevent “losing it”.
Staying socially connected to family and friends can be so challenging, especially if your family members are overwhelmed with their own lives. But you have to make the effort. Don’t wait for the phone to ring, don’t wonder why anyone isn’t calling – just pick the phone up and call your friends and family, and invite yourself over if you have to! If you’re able to help out, great! do that! Family members can become distant, but often times it’s because they’re own lives are so all consuming, they may not know whether they’re coming or going themselves! Give your family members a break, by calling them!
Probably out of everything, social contact is the most important thing you can do for yourself as you age. Aging with grace isn’t about the lines on your face, it isn’t about the number on your bathroom scale, it’s about loving your life…and you do that by making an effort to stay connected to those most important to you. Your children and friends may really need you, but may not know how to ask, or may even be too proud to ask, so just volunteer.
Make your offer non-negotiable, tell them your coming over Sunday for an hour to watch your grandkids for them, or you’re making them something fresh from the kitchen and bringing it over. Don’t wait for the invite – just offer. If you’ve been blessed with grandchildren, the example you set as a person of many years is one they can hold on to, and remember and use, when it’s their turn to age with grace. Then they too, can be there for their loved ones; a great legacy to leave behind.