Embracing health and wellness are top priorities for many, especially for senior citizens who seek the benefits of longevity and living well. Sometimes, adults may feel weighed down by heavy expectations, busy schedules, and daily demands. In turn, this may negatively affect aspects of self-care. If this is you, realize that you are not helpless. It is never too late to turn things around. Here are some great ways for adults to nourish themselves to enjoy a better quality of life.
- Start the day with positive affirmations. These are powerful tools which can transform our mental attitudes. Simply wake up and look in the mirror. Then say five positive things about yourself to get your day off to a good start. Here are some examples: I am grateful to be alive. I am thankful for this day. I love myself. I am good and kind. Today is a blessed day. I am worthy of giving and receiving love. God is with me. I am at peace. I am full of joy. Every day is a good day. I feel well rested and energized for the day. I look beautiful (or handsome). I am strong. I am smart. I am wise. I am powerful. I believe in my abilities. I’ve got this day under control. Know that daily positive affirmations are known to shift how people feel inside. Try it!
- Eat, drink & be merry. Eating a well-balanced diet is important as people age as it lowers the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Benefits of healthy eating also include lower body weight, stronger bones and muscles, increased immunity, better mental health, longevity, and more. Those concerned with getting enough nutrients from foods should talk to their doctors about vitamin supplements. Drinking adequate amounts of water regularly is also important. Drinking water helps to maintain the balance of body fluids, controls calories, energizes muscles, keeps the skin looking good, prevents dehydration, aids the kidneys, and keeps the bowels moving properly. When you eat and drink healthfully, it makes you feel good inside and out.
- Get sunshine. Sunlight is essential for many bodily functions to include producing vitamin D and for maintaining circadian rhythm and mood. However, too much sun exposure can be harmful, so it’s important to protect exposed skin with sunscreen or other filters to prevent short and long-term damage such as sunburn or skin cancer. Scientifically, there are many benefits from spending some time under the sun. One hour of natural sunlight in the morning is known to help people sleep better at night. Sunshine exposure helps folks maintain strong bones, strengthens the immune system, helps fight off depression, and may also reduce stress reactivity. Talk to your doctor to find out how much sunlight exposure is safe for you and discuss ways to reduce your health risks.
- Exercise. Moving the body plays an important role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. As people age, they lose muscle mass and function. Exercise releases hormones that promote muscle growth and reduces the breakdown of muscles, thus it is extremely beneficial. Exercise can lower body fat and reduce the risk of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and some types of cancer. Daily physical exercise also increases energy, boosts mood and self-confidence, and makes people feel stronger overall. To learn which exercises are right for you, talk to your doctor.
- Journal, pray, meditate. Each of these important activities help people reflect upon life, God, and peace. Journaling, the act of writing down thoughts or detailing one’s day, is emotionally beneficial because it evokes mindfulness and deep thinking. It provides a creative outlet, much like painting does for an artist or sculpting does for a sculptor. Journaling also keeps memory sharp and boosts mood. Prayer and meditation also have powerful health benefits. Spiritual practices are known to alleviate stress levels, a major risk factor of disease. These methods are said to deliver physical peace and inner calm, meaning that heart rate slows, blood pressure reduces, and breathing becomes more relaxed and more regular.
In a world full of drama and pressure, it’s up to people to find safe and creative ways to turn off the noise and tune in to what’s good for them. Above all, it’s vital for senior citizens to incorporate these and other beneficial practices into their daily schedules in order to continue to live long and healthful lives. Don’t let one little thing gone-wrong drag your day down, rather let small things go and focus on positive thinking and treating yourself well, eating well and exercising, and making time for yourself. Know that it’s okay to turn off drama and say “no” to life’s demands. Rather, make your wellness, inner peace, and joy the top priority you deserve.