Melanie (Mel) Sullivan, Ed.D., has been named Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Ecumen,...
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Ecumen customers and employees share insights and advice for aging gracefully.
50 TIPS FOR AGING GRACEFULLY FROM ECUMEN
1. Do something you enjoy every day. When you immerse yourself in things you enjoy, you can’t wait to do them again. And then you do them again, and again and again, and the enjoyment continues.
2. Work at friendships. Friendships are fuel, providing energy, love and feeding your emotions. You’re never too old for new friendships.
3. Congratulate yourself. Everyone has accomplishments: celebrate them and use them as inspiration for new ones.
4. Embrace change. Life is change. Resisting it wastes precious time and energy. Living for it can create adventures you never thought possible.
5. Learn. Exercise your brain continually.
6. Know yourself. You know best what you like and don’t like, and you have the power to emphasize the good.
7. Make your home your special place by personalizing it and making it comfortable. Everyone needs a refuge that’s uniquely theirs.
8. Realize that opportunities often express themselves in ways we’d never imagine.
9. Get a massage frequently. Touch feels good and it’s so relaxing.
10. Be gentle with yourself. Listen to your own inner voices and senses and do what makes you feel best.
11. Share happiness. Make a point to spread joy whenever possible. It feels good to make someone else feel good, and it’s very inexpensive to do.
12. Eat with friends and family. Prepare food together. Eat the things you like.
13. Eat smartly, but every once in awhile line up a row of warm chocolate chip cookies (or your favorite cookie) and dip them in milk.
14. Get sufficient rest. Living takes work; we all need a break. Take one whenever you need to.
15. Laugh and cry. But laugh a lot more. It feels good by releasing endorphins – the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
16. Each morning before you get out of bed thank the Lord for 5 things for which you are grateful. It’s a nice way to start the day, and you’ll find yourself thinking about a lot more than 5.
17. Take control of how you react to things. Little things can really bring you down if you let them. But you don’t have to let them.
18. Smile a lot.
19. Pray daily.
20. Spend time with other generations. You can learn something new from someone of any age.
21. Write. Write a letter. Write a blog. Write a poem. Write a journal. Writing helps you think, express who you are, and generate new ideas.
22. Embrace technology. The internet can take you places you’d never otherwise see or experience.
23. Dress in current styles. By adding a trendy piece to a classic outfit, you will look and feel good.
24. Travel. Whether it is a trip to the mall, theater, a sports event or even a different state or country, little and big adventures can produce wonderful results.
25. Exercise. It feels good to get those endorphins jumping.
26. Drink and eat in moderation.
27. Get a yearly medical check up. While it’s no guarantee you’ll live longer, it can help you catch health issues early and fend off other potential health problems.
28. Get a pet. Animals can be great companions.
29. Simplify. Start with cleaning a closet. You’ll quickly see there is a lot of stuff that’s just clutter and serves no use. Next simplify other parts of your life.
30. Surround yourself with people who lift you up rather than bring you down.
31. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It’s impossible.
32. Always have something to solve. Making progress feels good and often it helps someone else and brings them and you happiness.
33. Embrace the joys of old age. You’re smarter; you’re more experienced and you have more time to do the things you enjoy.
34. If you’re depressed, seek professional help. There are solutions.
35. Practice acceptance. Know that there’s a very good chance that your mobility will lessen as you age. Think about how you will deal with that so that when that time comes, you can still live fully.
36. Create milestones and work toward them. No matter how big or small, the journey is a growing experience.
37. Prepare for your death by having a living will and pre-planning your funeral. Dying is part of living. And having a plan is a gift to yourself and to your loved ones.
38. Realize that although your body deteriorates, your spirit grows stronger if you allow it.
39. Do not let yourself be diminished by anyone. You are you. No one else is, and that’s darn important.
40. When you need supportive services, partner with a senior services provider that empowers you to enjoy life on your terms. Pre-plan so that you have peace of mind that you will have the help you need in an environment you desire.
41. Keep death daily before your eyes; it will help you appreciate every day and get the most out of it.
42. Value your body. If you do, you’ll participate in less risky behavior that could harm your health.
43. Treat others with respect and dignity. You’ll find respect and dignity come back to you.
44. Have someone you can tell anything.
45. Maintain muscle mass, which will protect you from falling.
46. Cut down or eliminate multi-tasking. Research shows people don’t do it very well, and it often just causes undue stress.
47. Walk. Get a pedometer and take 5,000 to 10,000 steps every day. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to walk. If you can’t walk, work with an exercise professional, who can design a wellness strategy with you.
48. Keep your weight at a healthy level. 49. Don’t fear aging. 50. Grow to the very last breath.