What are the quick and simple things that we can do daily to enhance the entirety of our time?
In the past, I have written some about life issues for us Silver Agers. I have researched leisure activities, business opportunities, diet and exercise ideas, health issues, estate planning, and other topics as I thought of them.
But I realized that I had probably never sat down and thought about how to enjoy the life we have been given. What are the quick and simple things that we can do daily to enhance the entirety of our time?
So below are my thoughts on what we might want to do to ensure that we have all the years we can and to be healthy and safe during those years.
Remember to be happy. No matter what our situation, we should be able to find two or three things to be thankful for and happy about. I am aware of the fact that individually we may be facing a health crisis, the loss of a loved one, or any other traumatic event, but I have faced those as well and have been able to find something for which I am thankful in each instance. Sometimes I had to really search for it and maybe it was just that there were good memories that I had been given before the trauma, but even in the face of tragedy, I and others have the support of family and friends, memories, or some event small can prompts some contentment and happiness at the worst of times.
But every day, find things to be grateful for and happy about, they can be small things as well as the major “thank you” events in your life, but looking for the happy things makes a positive difference in our day.
Get involved. Do things with friends, join a charity or local church and help out; tutor at a local school; just do something that you can feel good about and contribute to your community.
Eat well and exercise. Start with a good breakfast and eat a balanced diet throughout the day. You know what foods to avoid, so I’ll skip that, but eat in moderation and include all the fruit and vegetables you should. Limit the wine, beer, and liquor, and stop smoking. Exercise once a day alternating aerobic and anaerobic activities.
Buckle up. Sure we have air bags and head rests, but buckle up every time you drive. And make your passengers buckle up as well. We have each seen other careless drivers who swing into our lane, or brake without warning. Our reactions are slowing down, so buckle up and live.
Know what meds you are on and keep a record with you. In case of an emergency, it is critical that the medical personnel treating you know what meds you are taking, including the over the counter supplements you use. Even when it is not an emergency, you need to know all the meds to accurately tell your physician, dentist, or pharmacist so each can prevent over medicating or prescribing a med that reacts adversely with what you are already taking.
Check your skin daily. Silver Agers grew up not knowing about skin cancers. In fact we grew up thinking that not only were we indestructible, but that deep tans were required of everyone who wanted to be “cool”. Now we are paying the price for that and we should keep a close watch on our skin for signs of sun damage as well as looking for new moles that indicate the possibility of cancerous growth.
Get regular checkups. Have a physical scheduled annually, a dental appointment every six months and an optometrist every two years. Your medical checkup should include lab tests, the required specialist exams (Gyn, breast x-rays, etc.) as well as a comprehensive exam by your health care worker.
Statisticians tell us that Silver Agers tend to be either happier than the general population or more depressed than the general population with no middle ground. I think there is a case to be made that we can choose into which category we fall.