Everyone ages – each year, each day, each minute and even each second that passes puts you at a little older than you were previously. Ageing is inevitable. Getting ‘old’ is not.
Thankfully you have a lot of control over your ageing process. See below for my top 10 ways to keep your body, your mind and your spirit young.
Use your imagination
– just because you get older, doesn’t mean you should stop using your imagination. If you have young kids around you (children or grandchildren) take them on a magical journey using your imagination. Encourage them to use their imagination and create a world that is for you and them. This world takes you away from your world and your worries. It places you in complete control (kind of – the child has some say too) of what happens in this world and how you want to feel in this world. Not only is this a great distraction, but it’s a great mind exercise, forcing you to use it (or lose it).
If you don’t have a child around to imagine with, do it yourself, or choose a nice book to read – books are a great way for you to picture locations, characters and events described in the pages.
Your mindset impacts your mood, which impacts your energy, which impacts your activities, which significantly impacts your ageing.
Give yourself a break
– if you are anything like most of us, we get too involved in the now to think too far into the future. Being completely in the now is not always a good thing. We need things to look forward to. The start of each year is a great time to sit down and work out what your holidays will be, when they will be, and how many days until you get that break. The destination, or the amount of money spent is not important, it’s the pleasure, and down time that is what is important. Everyone needs time to recharge. Weekends are a great time to get away from ‘work’, but often we don’t get time to recharge. Set some time aside, plan your break, and get excited.
In a much more immediate approach, set aside 5, 10, 30 minutes for yourself each day. Take a deep breath, smell some flowers, have a bath, listen to some music – do whatever floats your boat when it comes to relaxation and me-time.
It’s very important. It needs to be a higher priority for many of us.
Stress (what occurs when you do not give yourself a break) ages us dramatically.
Feel the love
– make love. Sex releases hormones that leave you on a high and far from feeling old. If sex isn’t on your radar, try to get regular hugs from those you love. Make them long hugs and aim to get them often – it releases a hormone called oxytocin (the feel-good hormone). Also, when I say ‘feel the love’ I don’t just mean with sex and hugs. Look at what activities you love, the things that get you excited to get out of bed in the morning. The activities that strike a passion in you. If it’s a social hobby, bonus! Re-ignite any passions that may have been abandoned.
Eat a plant rich diet and drink plenty of water
– you are what you eat, and if what you eat is rubbish, you will feel like rubbish. If what you eat is full of nutrients, you should feel the energy and reap the benefits. Surprisingly most Australians don’t eat enough vegetables. Aim to get 3-5 different vegetables at both lunch and dinner. If you want bonus points, aim to get 3-5 veggies at breakfast too! More, more, more!
Get off the couch and exercise
– stretch and strengthen your body. Daily stretches in front of the tv, or regular yoga or Pilates classes with a group of friends – whichever works for you, works for you. Staying limber significantly helps you with your mobility and your feeling of ‘old’. Strengthening exercises are also strongly recommended so that your bones stay nice and strong. Aches and pains are considered right up there in the ‘things that make you feel old’ list.
– learn something new to challenge your brain and keep those brain cells working! Sudoku, crosswords, knitting patterns, a new language, an instrument – choose to use your brain in order to keep the brain cells working and all the pistons firing.
Adopt a good skin care regimen
– Explore and identify a great facial skin care regime. Don’t forget to moisturise your neck, chest and back of hands, use sunscreen on your face (or protect your face from sun damage), and remove any make-up each night. You can also help your skin via antioxidant and vitamin supplement.
– The power of positive thinking is real. You have so much choice over your reactions and your environment. Do the things that make you happy more often and try to let go of negative emotions like anger, guilt, resentment, grief and shame. Nothing ages you more or faster than worry.
Don’t act your age
– that’s just silly. Act younger. But, don’t forget to be responsible.
Take a tech detox
– get off social media and the doom-and-gloom news websites. These places can be a place of so much anxiety, jealousy, sadness and doom. All pictures on social media have been chosen to be posted – generally they are great photos! Don’t compare your entire life (lows and highs) to someone else highs. Smell the fresh air, explore outside, forget about what you should be doing/what others are doing, look around you and enjoy life.