As a senior, you’ve probably spent a lifetime providing for a family, raising children and being a supportive spouse. You can’t do all those things successfully without having sacrificed and placed the welfare of others ahead of yours. You’ve earned the right to be happy, to engage in activities and practice habits aimed at making you happy, and to feel vibrant and connected to loved ones and the world around you. That means following a self-care routine and putting your physical, mental and emotional needs first. Self-care is about being healthy, staying active, feeling happy and fulfilled, and working toward a general sense of well-being.
Benefits of self-care
You’ve put others first for years, but there’s nothing wrong with the notion that you are the most important person in your life. It’s very difficult to be happy and maintain positive relationships with others if your needs aren’t being met. And it’s not just about eating right and getting enough sleep. Self-care includes anything you do to feel good about yourself and your life. Sometimes, it’s making time to watch a favorite movie. Other times, it might mean spending a couple hours having coffee in your favorite bookshop with a couple of friends. These are “just-for-you” activities that you should feel good about. You’ve earned the right for some self-indulgence. You’ll have a more positive outlook, be more motivated and productive, feel energized and attain a higher level of productivity.
Being able to relax at home is an important aspect of self-care. It’s pretty difficult to take it easy when you’re surrounded by a jumbled mess. Clutter is a notorious cause of stress; left unattended, it’ll undermine your sense of ease and well-being. Decluttering allows you to downsize and simplify your life by freeing up space and leaving you with less “stuff” to
Take some ‘me’ time
Even if you’re a naturally social kind of person, there’s always value in spending time by yourself. Downtime can be valuable because it’s conducive to self-reflection, to sorting out complicated thoughts and feelings. It’s a chance to sit and watch the world go by for a short time while you’re alone with your thoughts. Read a book on your favorite park bench, watch a thunderstorm from the comfort of your front porch or from an easy chair, or enjoy listening to the wind blow through the trees in the front yard. It’s surprising how many memories will pop into your head while sitting quietly and contemplating the world.
Regular exercise is an important part of self-care, no matter what stage of life you’re in. There are lots of ways to stay physically active and have some fun. Schedule a group activity with friends, something you can enjoy together. Go for a walk every morning at the mall, sign up for a group water aerobics class, or learn yoga together from one of the many videos available for free via YouTube.
Self-care is an excellent way of using your time productively and meaningfully. Feeling good about yourself and your life helps keep your blood pressure down, makes it easier to sleep, motivates you to engage socially with friends, and to go out and meet new people.
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