Life has a funny way of forging ahead; taking you down a path you knew would come eventually. Yet, suddenly, so it seems; there it is, the so called “Golden years” of life are knocking at your door. How did that happen?
Aging gracefully is an art in itself – an art to develop, appreciate and savor. Each season brings its own charms and challenges soliciting from you a response, a reaction, a learning curve.
In this article, I want to share a few tools I have learned to count on and keep handy in my toolbox as I navigate these surprisingly wonderful chapters of my life. Some are self-explanatory and others require a little pondering.
Often, our initial reaction to change leans to the negative side. If that is your tendency, catch yourself. Once you catch yourself, you have the power. You take charge of this season rather than let this season take charge of you. In other words “aging” you’re not the boss of me!
Start with the first three basic musts: healthy eating, healthy moving, and healthy sleeping. You’ve got this, so get on with it. These are non-negotiables for your well-being.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. –Maya Angelou
Find one good balanced resource on healthy eating practices for your age and start adapting and tweaking it until you find what works for you. Walk more, stretch more, and dance more! Repeat frequently throughout the day. Little doses of each add to gracious living and better health all around. Practice healthy sleep habits. Sleep is your best friend – it regenerates your body, spirit and mind. Develop a pre-bedtime routine (I like to call it a pre-bedtime ritual) and stick to it religiously with as few exceptions as possible.
Now for some little extras tools that are worth their pretty penny!
- Listen to both gentle and upbeat music. Gentle music soothes the soul and upbeat music gets the body moving. Both release in you a good dose of dopamine – the happy hormone! So create two music lists.
- Learn a new song and sing! Sing in the shower, in the kitchen, in the car, just sing!
- Treat yourself kindly – treat your stuff nicely. Simple, but this one does require vigilance – especially the treat yourself kindly! Kind thoughts, kind words, kind choices.
- Identify your ‘little happiness treasures’. Is it a good cup of coffee with a good friend? A walk by the river? An old favorite movie? A small DYI that sparks your creativity? Make a list of these ‘happiness treasures’ and inject your week with one or two or three.
- Give spontaneity a chance! So this ‘thing’ wasn’t planned. Take no more than 30 seconds to assess and why not just do it!
- Connect with your spiritual self. Embrace the silence, the loneliness, the empty moment. Create space for gracious reflecting; appreciating your past and present journey. As well, take a moment to let go, again, of what needs no more consideration. Turn the page.
- Of course, I have to throw in the ‘gratitude’ word! There actually is a wonderful spiritual dynamic (scientifically tested), to the benefit of taking a moment and appreciating the small things of life.
- How about that ‘bucket list’? Take a good hard look at that list and give it an honest assessment. Do you really want to do these supposedly ‘must do’? Have you really given your imagination a good stretch allowing you to think outside the box and making the most of your resources? Have you given free reign to your curiosity and explored outside your comfort zone? Have you said ‘no’ to something you should re-examine? Or said ‘yes’ to something you should let go?
I dream my painting, and I paint my dream. – Vincent Van Gogh.
Finally friends, these three are for that daily fresh, classy look! Hydrate, gloss and paint! Keep the body hydrated from head to toes with a good moisturizing cream – it just makes your skin complexion and texture so much nicer. Find a nice lightly tinted quality lip gloss to add that little touch of freshness to your smile! And for that last little touch, why not paint your nails a pretty soft translucent pink colour! With these three -must do just because – you will take aging gracefully a few notches up the scale to simply fabulous!
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