If you are past the half century or even touching the official age of retirement, there is no need for you to feel robbed of the joy of living? In fact instead of thinking of life as a burden, it becomes imperative for you to look for the joys of it. Even God did not mean for us to grow old and die. In fact if the commandments of God had been followed to the letter, then we were not meant to die at all. But things went wrong and things did not go as they should and now people are growing old and dying.
Today there are 22 million people in the old age range in the US and the number is only going to go up. And what exactly do such people have to look forward to? Should they just sit back and endure the bad side of old age? Or should they enjoy it instead? This will need a change in the way you think; you will be able to do the same things (almost) as when you were younger, but things will take more effort.
To ensure that your old age is at least tolerable if not enjoyable, then you will need to concentrate on these main aspects – your physical well being, your financial independence and mental peace.
Health by indulging in physical activities: Good health is not exactly the main thing to enjoy old age but it does make things much better. It has been proven time and again that people who are physically active do enjoy much better health than those who are not. It is important to get some exercise going to ensure that you are going to be spry and active well into your old age. You will find that by being physically active you will be able to stave off some of those aches and pains or at least reduce the intensity of these aches. You can take something as simple as walking or swimming or some other activity that is fun and keeps you moving.
Eating well for nourishment: When you grow older, you have to think in terms of what you eat and how much you eat. Many ailments of old age like heart disease are attributed to poor diets and being overweight. It has been observed that elderly people tend to have diets that are starchy and sugar rich, while what they need is to eat a diet that is full of vitamins, proteins and vitamins. The reason could be that they cannot afford these kinds of foods and probably the need for extensive preparation that these foods require. Often you will find that older people find it harder to go about making such meals for just one person. Plus they also find it harder to chew such food.
Older folks will do well to adjust the amount they eat as they will be less active than they used to be which means cutting down carbohydrates and adding more nutrients. They can go for lesser refined carbohydrates like whole wheat, wheat germ, rice that is unpolished, brewer’s yeast and molasses. All these things will make your diet richer in all the things that it lacks. You will need to keep trying different things to find out what works for you. Also refrain from eating or drinking anything too hot or too cold. Try getting things to room temperature before eating them. You could also have a little wine to help in digesting.
Sleep and rest: Good health also means getting the right amount of sleep and rest. Often you will find that growing older makes you a lighter sleeper. The one thing that you have to remember about sleep is that each person has a different requirement. To find out whether you are getting the amount of sleep that you need and also to rectify the situation, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel wound up all day?
- Am I active till the time I go to sleep? Try and relax before you go to sleep
- Do I have caffeinated drinks before bedtime? Then refrain from doing so
- Am I eating starch heavy meals for dinner? Then you need to switch to lighter meals
- Do I spend too much time worrying about stuff? Then try and relaxing and letting things go
Other thing you can do to enjoy a good night’s sleep is:
- Have a warm bath
- Drinking some warm milk
- Getting a gentle massage
- Having herbal tea like chamomile
- Going for a walk in the evening to get good sleep also works
Dealing with the financial aspect: It is but natural that as you grow older, your finances have to take a hit as you are no longer earning. Plus sometimes folks are made to retire earlier due to corporate reasons and finding jobs as you age is not easy. Sometimes there is no pension due to many reasons. You will really need to rethink your way of living to adjust to these changes. While compromising on food go for things that offer you the nourishment you require but a still affordable. You can consult food guides that will help you make the right choices.
Dealing with mental and emotional: You will often find that mental adjustments are the main thing that keeps people from enjoying their mature age. People who are introverted have a tougher time than those who are more social. People who have had the wisdom to think about this and develop the right attitude will adjust much better, but people who have been spoilt and selfish in their young age, will find the transition difficult.
The first thing that you need to know about old age is that it is a reality that all of us have to face. Then the next thing to do is accept that things are not going to be the same as they were when you were younger, as you grow older. The next thing to realize that even though things are not as easy or the same that does not mean that they are bad and in fact can be good in a different way. Having a more positive attitude and a good sense of humor will really help.
Once you have changed your attitude about old age then you will find that there are some blessings to old age. Here are some:
- With age comes mellow wisdom and the impatience of youth no longer bothers you
- Old age will also add to your tolerance and mental strength
- It will also make you appreciate each moment that you have without pain
- You will also appreciate all the material things that you have