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Planning to Age Today?

Rebecca Bennington Blog Picture

Planning to age today?

Congratulations!  You are aging!  So far in your life, you have outlived all the things that were trying to get you, and here you are.  It doesn’t matter how old you are right now.  You must feel as though you are old, otherwise you would probably not be looking at this article.  Aging occurs at every age, from the day we are born. You are the person who defines aging for yourself.  If you think that 30, or 40, or 50 and higher are what you consider for yourself to be aging, then it is so.

The good news is that we are aging. The alternative to aging is also inevitable but it has not happened yet.  We are going to focus on the present so let’s find gratitude that we are on this earth right now.  We should learn how to make the most of it and possibly even enjoy it.

Think about this:  What are you going to do today?  Is whatever you are going to do something you have wanted to do for a while?  Is it something you had to plan, or are you able to just take the opportunity and go do it?  Does it involve other people?  Seeing new things?  Having a new experience?  Is it going to be fulfilling?

Or is it one of those life tasks that you don’t want to do, but for moral, ethical, or survival reasons you must do it?  Examples of this are paying taxes, attending a funeral, or going to the food bank.  If this is the case, can you find any silver lining?  Can you do anything positive for yourself to get you through the ordeal you are undertaking?

Maybe you aren’t doing anything today.  Maybe this is another day when you sit and watch TV, or play solitaire, or just stare off and dream about the things you used to do.  If this is the case then that is okay too, as long as you would not regret giving up that time for those activities.

Whatever your task is today, make the most of it.   The more seniors engage in social, physical, and cognitive activities, the happier they are (1).  (This research was applied to people who are retired but it is not necessary to retire to feel like a senior citizen).

Here’s a no brainer:  the results also showed that the more time older adults spent on household activities, the unhappier they were.  To clarify, this is saying that the more enjoyable activities you engage in the happier you are, and the more mundane activities you engage in the unhappier you are.  (Did you need research to know that?  Maybe).

As with all good things, there may be issues getting in the way.  There are barriers to happiness that are not limited to the aging population.  However, the aging population may find some of these obstacles more difficult to overcome due to age-related complications.

I will address some of these on the YP2H website.  As always, please reach out if you would like to talk to someone one-on-one for help reaching your happiness goal:

Barriers to happiness for aging

  • Loneliness
  • Health – limits accessibility to activities, could increase loneliness, could limit new hobbies or interests
  • Financial limitations
  • Loss of spouse, friends, others – grief
  • Loss of social networks associated to retirement
  • Lack of structure? Post retirement?
  • Feelings of uselessness
  • Feeling like a burden
  • Fear of death/disability
  • Spiritual reconciliation
  • Lack of knowledge or ability to keep up with technology, in turn limits resource

 

  • https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/66B/6/665/588065

Rebecca Bennington

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