Taking care of yourself at any point in life is important, but it becomes even more important later on in life. As we get older, we can become less resilient to illnesses and external stressors. This is why vowing to look after yourself is a must.
You may be able to bounce back from just about anything in your 20s and even your 30s, but unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case in your 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Yesterday I turned 56 and trust me bounding out of bed is not the same. There is a facebook meme, it’s not getting old that bothers me, its the side affects. Life is about prepping and planning, so lets plan for our future shall we.
Below, you’ll find 12 ways you should start looking after yourself now:
12 ways to Take Care of Yourself
1.Keep Your Mind Stimulated and Challenged
Keeping your mind stimulated and challenged will help you with things like memory recall. Do your best to avoid watching too much TV just because it’s easy and instead read books, do puzzles and crosswords, and challenge yourself.
2 Minimize Unhealthy Habits
Minimize unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking. If you need support, there’s no shame in getting it. The sooner you stop, the better. They can really take a toll when you’re deep into the habit.
3 Make Time For People You Love
It’s too easy to feel isolated when you get older, so do your best to make time for people you love. Call a friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect with, or arrange a coffee date with a family member you haven’t seen for a while. Do your best to keep those you love as close as possible, as hard as that may be when you get older and have your own things going on. You’ll be glad you did!
4 Find Exercise You Enjoy
You shouldn’t have to force yourself to exercise or see it as a chore. It’s a wonderful thing that you can exercise at all. Word it differently – get excited because you ‘get to’ exercise! All you have to do is find a type you enjoy and want to stick to. It might be swimming, walking, yoga, or something else. Try lots of different things until you find something you really like. Once you’re in the habit of exercising, it’ll be more difficult for you to stop doing it than it will for you to carry on. Getting into the habit is the key!
5 Keep Your Stress Under Control
Stress can take a physical and mental toll on us. Just because you can’t see it right away doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Stress can affect your appetite, your relationships, and much more. Learning how to manage your stress triggers is a must. Can you:
- Start meditating?
- Practice deep breathing?
- Ask somebody to help you?
- Take on less work?
Taking Care of Yourself
6 Be Vigilant With Your Health Appointments
Make sure you stay up to date with your health appointments – make your health a priority. A medical professional is going to be able to spot something way before you do, so don’t skip that general health check up if you haven’t had one for a while. If you’re struggling to find times that suit you, you may be able to find a family dentist open on the weekends. You may think you have better things to do, but you don’t want to end up in a position where you wish you had stuck to your appointments because it turns out there’s an issue. Remember all my tooth debacles, when I avoided immediate treatment?
7 Stay Mindful
Staying mindful can be tough. TV, social media, driving – there are all kinds of things out there that can stop us from being mindful. Do your best to live with intention. You will need to remind yourself to wake up from time to time when you’re just going through life on automation, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
8 Start A New Hobby
You are never, ever too old to start a new hobby. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, what’s stopping you? You can’t let feelings of being too old stop you. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Your life begins on the other side of fear! Go to a painting class, head to an open audition, or join a book club. Not only will this give you something new and exciting to learn/focus on, it’ll help you to meet people and stop you from feeling isolated. You may even find something you want to stick to and a new sense of purpose.
9 Acknowledge Your Feelings
Don’t try to cover up your feelings by using food, drink, or other substances. Acknowledge your feelings and work through them. Too many people ‘deal’ with their feelings by using things to cover them up, but this is only temporary and doesn’t fix any problems.
10 Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is not mean. It doesn’t mean you don’t love another person. It simply means you respect yourself and your energy. You may need to set boundaries with somebody who always wants to see you or is always asking for money – the situation doesn’t matter. What matters is that you acknowledge when you feel like somebody is using up too much of your energy and asking too much of you and you set a boundary.
Self Care Continued
11 Declutter Your Physical Environment
Don’t let clutter build up. As we get older, it’s easy to accumulate more junk. We can also get sentimental about junk and try not to give it up – maybe not as serious as hoarding, but similar in that you’re keeping items you haven’t used for years just for the sake of it. Clearing out your environment can help make space for better things, and give you more room to play with.
12 Connect With Your Inner Child
Connect with your inner child by listening to what they want. Ice cream for breakfast? Finger painting? Roller blading? Let them take the reigns from time to time and just have fun. You can’t ignore that little voice inside of you and be happy!
Which of these things will you do to take care of yourself in your later years? Do you have any advice you’d like to add? Leave a comment below – come back soon!