Happy September, everyone! This month is Healthy Aging Month. Granted, you most likely don’t want to hear from the college student in this department, so please bear with me and read it anyway!
In this day and age, you see the focus spotlighting more complaints people have with growing older, whether it be health-related, changes in your body or its capabilities, or just feeling out of the loop with the latest trends or new technologies (and take my word for it, even I don’t have that all worked out, myself). I’m going to sound a bit like my yoga teacher when I say this, but this month and every other month that follows should be a time to appreciate all your body has done and continues to be able to do as you age. It should also be a time to appreciate the memories and the benefits of having life experience under your belt. It is also a responsibility, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, because it is an opportunity to use that experience to be a leader or at least play a significant role in your community, whether that’s where you live or within your family, or whatever other community you identify as a part of.
While I don’t necessarily agree with HealthyAging.net’s notion of “reinventing yourself,” because I personally think you should simply strive to be the best version of your existing self, I think they make some pretty valid points that are probably left stated by them, so I’ll leave them to it. With that said, here are their tips for being the best you that you can be this Healthy Aging Month. And remember, it doesn’t have to end on the 30th.
10 Tips for Reinventing Yourself during September Is Healthy Aging® Month:
- Do not act your age or at least what you think your current age should act like. What was your best year so far? 28? 40? Now? Picture yourself at that age and be it. Some people may say this is denial, but we say it’s positive thinking and goes a long way toward feeling better about yourself. (Tip: Don’t keep looking in the mirror, just FEEL IT!)
- Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day. When you catch yourself complaining, check yourself right there and change the conversation to something positive. (Tip: Stop watching the police reports on the local news.)
- Have negative friends who complain all of the time and constantly talk about how awful everything is? Drop them. As cruel as that may sound, distance yourself from people who do not have a positive outlook on life. They will only depress you and stop you from moving forward. Surround yourself with energetic, happy, positive people of all ages and you will be happier too. (Tip: Smile often. It’s contagious and wards off naysayers.)
- Walk like a vibrant, healthy person. Come on. You can probably do it. Analyze your gait. Do you walk slowly because you have just become lazy or, perhaps, have a fear of falling? (Tip: Make a conscious effort to take big strides, walk with your heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.)
- Stand up straight! You can knock off the appearance of a few extra years with this trick your mother kept trying to tell you. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you holding your stomach in, have your shoulders back, chin up? Check out how much better your neck looks! Fix your stance and practice it every day, all day until it is natural. You will look great and feel better. (Tip: Your waistline will look trimmer if you follow this advice.)
- How’s your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier. Your teeth are just as important to your good health as the rest of your body. Not only is it the first thing people notice, but good oral health is a gateway to your overall well-being. (Tip: Go to the dentist regularly and look into teeth whitening. Nothing says old more than yellowing teeth!)
- Lonely? Stop brooding and complaining about having no friends or family. Do something about it now. Right this minute. Pick up the phone, landline, or cell and make a call to do one or more of the following: Volunteer your time, Take a class, Invite someone to meet for lunch, brunch, dinner, or coffee. (Tip: Volunteer at the local public school to stay in touch with younger people and to keep current on trends, take a computer class or a tutorial session at your cell phone store to keep up with technology, choose a new person every week for your dining out.)
- Start walking not only for your health but to see the neighbors. Have a dog? You’ll be amazed how the dog can be a conversation starter. (Tip: If you don’t have time for a dog, go to your local animal shelter and volunteer. You will be thrilled by the puppy love!)
- Make this month the time to set up your annual physical and other health screenings. Go to the appointments and then, hopefully, you can stop worrying about ailments for a while.
- Find your inner artist. Who says taking music lessons is for young school children? You may have an artist lurking inside you just waiting to be tapped. Have you always wanted to play the piano, violin, or tuba? Have you ever wondered if you could paint a portrait or scenic in oil? What about working in wood? (Tip: Sign up now for fall art or music classes and discover your inner artist!)