As you get older, you may find it increasingly difficult to have a positive outlook on life. There are certain stages of life that are difficult to endure, such as losing loved ones, coping with chronic medical conditions and having lower energy levels. Trying to live your life to the fullest may seem to be a daily struggle, especially with some of the major changes going on. Being happy and healthy as a senior is more than just a physical aspect, however.
It’s also important that you maintain your sense of purpose and continue to live life as the person you always were.
One of the best ways to boost your mental health is to look past the common myths of aging and remember that you are still you. Many times, aging stereotypes make elders feel that their sense of purpose is no longer valuable to society and that health-related conditions are imminent. Yet these ideas are simply not true.
What you need to do is build a healthy foundation that will help you embrace and tackle your senior years just as you did during the other phases in life.
Your senior years are just as meaningful as adolescence and adulthood and will offer the same sense of worth to your friends, children and grandchildren.
To start building a healthy framework, consider these aspects:
– Think about the people in your life that you’re grateful for. Consider how your relationships with these people have changed for the better. You can now enjoy your children as the responsible adults they have become, you have grandchildren to enjoy that weren’t in your life before and a relationship with your spouse that has grown out of love and commitment.
– Acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to have strong emotions about getting older, and speaking to a therapist, counselor or support group can help you sort out these feelings. Do not avoid your emotions as this will lead to resentment and anger. If you’re not one for talking about your feelings, try writing in a journal instead.
– Make a difference in your health today. Start exercising, create healthy meal options, shop organic or try a new vegetable each week. Find a doctor that you enjoy seeing regularly and have your numbers checked to ensure you’re in good health. Quit smoking, drink in moderation and start taking a multivitamin. It is never too late to make a positive difference in your health.
– Look toward the future. It can be hard to think positive when you believe that only hardships are ahead of you. Instead, have a bright outlook on what the future holds. Take comfort in sharing time with your grandchildren, hosting holidays or starting a new activity. You have many more wonderful experiences to enjoy.
Once you have established a healthy attitude about growing older, you’ll need to continue finding meaning and purpose in life.
The goal is to find the outlets that boost your sense of worth, such as a new hobby, exercise class or art club. Adopting a new pet or babysitting your grandchildren are also wonderful ways to contribute to your support network and connect with others.
Clear your mind and become in tune with nature by taking walks through nature preserves or spending an afternoon fishing. Also be sure to take advantage of what’s around you such as a local museum, performing arts center or theater, especially if you live near a city.
Nurture your relationships by connecting with friends and family members, expanding your social circle, volunteering for causes close to your heart and finding a support group in times of need. After all, your mental health needs the same attention and care as your physical health.