We’re all getting older every day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still wake up every morning feeling our best and go to sleep every night happy with the choices we made. Feeling your best isn’t just about being physically healthy. True wellbeing is a combination of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When you’re living your best life, you’re caring for each of these aspects of your being in equal measure.
If you want to live your best life every day, adopt these five habits of people who embrace aging:
1. Nourish yourself – Eating well isn’t just a matter of meeting a daily caloric quota. The foods you eat have a direct impact on your health and happiness. If you’re still cooking for yourself, buy and prepare fresh, nutritious food for yourself to enjoy. If you’re taking advantage of your community’s dining plan, choose healthy options from the menu each day. Eating well can become more challenging as we age, but nourishing your body is the essential foundation of living well.
2. Stay active – Exercise is good for the body and the mind alike. Each day it seems we identify more links between physical activity and overall wellbeing. There are plenty of ways to get your body moving no matter what your mobility level is. Go on a walk with a neighbor, engage in some light calisthenics, take a yoga class in your community—do whatever it is that makes you feel light on your feet and brings a smile to your face!
3. Get a good night’s sleep – It’s almost impossible to have a positive attitude when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Rest has enormous restorative powers. Sleeping the recommended seven to eight hours per night allows our bodies to regenerate, relax, and recuperate, which becomes even more important as we age.
4. Exercise your mind – Like our bodies, our minds need regular exercise in order to stay limber and strong. Every day, set aside time for an activity that engages your mind. Read the newspaper to stay up to date on current events. Take an online class on a topic that interests you. Or even sit next to someone new at dinner and ask them to tell you about themselves—new experiences of all kinds stimulate the brain and keep your mind sharp.
5. Laugh! – It’s true, laughter is an excellent medicine. Laughter releases chemicals in our brain that combat pain and fear, two feelings commonly associated with aging. Laughing every day can be wonderfully therapeutic, especially as we age and become more prone to depression. To get your daily dose of laughter, surround yourself with people who share your sense of humor, rent a comedy movie, or read the Sunday comics.
When you embrace aging, you take control of the aging process. The choices you make on a day-to-day basis dictate how well you live your life. There are many aspects of aging (and life!) that you can’t control, so commit to making good choices about the things you can!