Ilene Federman, LCSW-C
Have you ever heard these sayings? “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C.S. Lewis) or “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” (Betty Friedan).
Wisdom is accumulated by a lifetime of experiences. Why do so many fear aging? Getting older should be a cause for celebration! What are the secrets to aging gracefully and how can you ensure that your best is yet to come?
- Focus on Happiness. Learn what brings you the most joy and satisfaction. Incorporate these things into your day as often as you can.
- Move Often. Move every day. Exercise keeps you young and as a result you will experience an increase in energy and overall well-being.
- Reduce stress. Adopt healthy habits. Talk to someone. Take care of your physical and emotional health. It is important to practice self-care and laugh often.
- Learn something new. Take advantage of opportunities to explore and stretch yourself. Continue to challenge your brain by doing things you’ve always wanted to do- learn to play an instrument, improve your technological skills, or take a class.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition. A stable weight can guard against heart disease, diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Hydrate adequately. Water keeps things moving and flushes out toxins. Water helps with sleep, skin and digestion.
- Get Plenty of Sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene (7-8 hours per night) by keeping your bedroom cool, avoiding electronics and getting to bed at a consistent hour.
- Keep things simple. Figure out what makes you happiest, and scale back from there. When our lives are full of clutter, it weighs you down. Organize your home and your routine
- Learn Mindfulness. Live in the moment. Allow yourself to be conscious in the present with all of your senses instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
- Don’t fight the tide. Embrace aging as a natural part of life.
With the passage of time, we often gain perspective. We realize that life is too short to “sweat the small stuff.” The times that truly matter are the joyful moments that we spend with those we love.
You can age gracefully by bringing more joy and happiness into your life. Let go of complications, learn to set limits, care for your body, and remember, the best is yet to come!
Ilene Federman, LCSW-C is manager for Adult Therapy Services at JCS
JCS provides a broad range of services that meet the diverse, multi-dimensional needs of individuals and families throughout Central Maryland. We offer guidance and support when you are seeking solutions for emotional well-being, aging and caregiving, parenting, job seeking, employers and businesses, achieving financial stability, living with special needs, and preventing risky behaviors. To learn more, please visit our home page or call 410-466-9200.