It has been well documented that physical and mental health are of upmost importance to enriching the lives of older people. Recent studies have also revealed that older people tend to be happier than young adults. Here are three steps I recommend to maintain a healthy mind and body and continue to be creative and alive.
Never stop dreaming
It was Langston Hughes who said, “Hold fast to your dreams, for when dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” It is never too late to live the life of your dreams. Mary Morrissey, a noted life coach, encourages people to explore longing and discontent in their lives and focus their energy in these areas. Older age is a time when you might have the time and financial ability to realize the possibilities of acting on your longings and discontent. Bringing these realizations to fruition can increase joy, fulfillment, and a sense of well-being. Throughout my life I have been greatly concerned about inequities in life and have longed to make a positive difference in the lives of others. This desire has driven me to accomplish things, which at first glance, may have seemed impossible. I have continued to make these issues of inequality a priority and have begun conversations with others to create change. A national coalition has been built around a “call to action” to address and find creative solutions.
Share your wisdom
Reflect on your life and identify experiences that might inform, inspire, and give hope to others. Create a means of sharing those reflections through writing, painting, music or whatever form fits you. At the age of 84, I published my memoir with the hopes that it would make a positive difference in the lives of others and leave a legacy for my loved ones. Other generations can benefit from your wisdom and unleashing your creativity will not only be fun, but it can also enhance your sense of purpose.
Find a way to help others
Focus on the needs of others to give meaning, not only to your life, but to provide support and empathy in times of need. I personally make frequent phone calls to those who live alone or those who are struggling with issues. This action is my attempt to communicate that they matter and that I care. I also use social media to interact and stay in touch, and am inclusive in engaging them in activities or causes that they and I share.
I hope that my sharing these ideas will spark a realization that you have much to contribute regardless of your age.