“If people have to change old habits, are we offering something that makes their lives meaningfully better in return?” - David Marcus, Paypal President
As we age, change is inevitable. Our bodies need different food, sleep, exercise, medications, and a little TLC. Of course, how much we let that affect our sense of well-being is completely up to us! You can be frustrated that you need an afternoon rest now, or you can be glad for the excuse! For many of us, giving up our normal routine can be unsettling and an unwelcome reminder of things we can no longer do. To make these changes a more positive experience, here are some ideas to keep you on the glass half full side of things.
- Be mindful of the changes. Aging is only negative if we make it so. Granted, in the US we live in a very youth-obsessed culture, but there are many things to embrace about aging. Acknowledge that you are changing and that it’s a natural progression. There is nothing wrong with what is happening, and you can still live a very full life with modifications.
- Accomodate them with purpose. This means being proactive—like using a cane or walker before you have a fall—so that you are making the decisions instead of having accommodations forced upon you by your loved ones or physician. You will feel so much more in control if you are the one starting those conversations rather than feeling defensive if someone makes an unwanted suggestion.
- Don’t forget your sense of humor. Bodies are unpredictable and yours is no different. Taking a light attitude about your new gadgets, naptimes, and/or strict diet will help keep everything positive. The more you can take with a smile and a laugh, the better you’ll feel about all these changes.
- Focus on things you CAN do. Unless you’re in a coma, there are plenty of things you can still do. Find things you enjoy and continue to do them. Be grateful for the things your body still does for you and for the things around you that bring you joy. You may not be able to run for miles anymore, but you can enjoy your morning exercise class with friends.
- Get creative with your solutions. There are lots of products out there to keep you independent, but beyond that, the sky's the limit on how you structure your days and accommodations. Just like every other phase in your life, there’s no handbook for how you “should” age. So do what you like and enjoy as much as you can!
Cheers to Aging with Style!