I apologize in advance for the slight rant, but I’m so sick and tired of people blaming the aging process for their ailments. In fact, I move to wipe the word “old” from the conversation all together. Ok, fine, that might be a little harsh. I understand that with age comes different requirements for our bodies and minds. I just wish we’d stop treating it as this evil entity that’s riding on our back, responsible for all of our problems. It’s total BS on so many levels.
Look, if you’re one of those people who has a hard time with aging, I don’t blame you. It took me quite a while to get to this point. Misery loves company and I know how easy it can be to fall into the trap of complaining.
Society really likes to shine a negative light on getting older. It tells us that we are destined for a slow and painful demise where we lose all mental acuity. As a women, it also likes to tell us we lose our worth and our beauty. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In both in myself and other women I surround myself with, I see more growth, freedom, self-confidence, health, vitality and beauty with age than anything else. It constantly blows my mind how much richer and more vibrant life can get.
Here’s the thing you need to know: we have greater influence on the quality and grace with which we age than most people could even imagine. The fact that you’re reading this blog tells me that you’re someone who may have already gotten the hint.
Simply put, we have a choice. We can choose to make healthy lifestyle decisions and release societal pressure, freeing us from this notion that getting old means getting ugly, tired and sick. Or we can stay stuck in the misery.
I like to think of the aging process as a metamorphosis. At each phase of life we get to experience new bodies, new perspectives and new emotions. It’s truly a gift. I mean, could you imagine having to spend your entire life in the hormonal throws and insecurity that comes with puberty?? No thank you. I have a few key points I’d like to share that I found helpful in learning to adjust my mentality towards aging.
Listen you your body, and be thankful it’s speaking loud enough for you to hear
Yes, as we get older we do get more sensitive to our lifestyle choices, as I’m sure many of you have come to realize. Yes, that second glass of wine comes with consequences that didn’t exist in your 20s, but is that such a bad thing? What if we began treating this reality with gratitude rather than disdain? What if we actually listened to our bodies and thanked them for being more vocal about their needs?
When I started really listening, it became so much easier to actually know what my needs were. Once I started acting accordingly, I found that my body began to serve me better.
Educate yourself on how to eat well
We are so far removed from our food system that we need to re-learn how to feed ourselves. A basic understanding on how nutrients affect our health is vital to maintaining wellness. It’s not always as simple as eating more veggies. Consider the quality of your food and pay attention to how you feel when eating it. Do your research when it comes to supplements and make sure you’re getting what you need.
Move more and move better
You don’t have to be running five miles a day in order to stay mobile. In fact, more intense exercise isn’t necessarily better. The goal is to incorporate mobility into your everyday routine.
One of the biggest problems I see with clients is that we tend to be in the same position for long periods of time. For most people that means sitting. Challenge yourself to get up and move every hour. If possible, create a work station that alternates between seated and standing position.
Look for movement activities that you find enjoyable. Go on a walk and call a friend to catch up. I personally love yoga as my movement practice because it works on strength, flexibility and also awareness. Plus it calms me down after a hectic day.
This is a big one. Taking ownership over your health can be easier said than done. It’s a lot more comfortable for people to blame this external idea of aging than to own up and admit how their choices are affecting them. I’m not saying that if you’re sick it’s your fault. All I’m saying is do your part and, if you don’t, that’s on you.
While this may be a leap initially, this is the kind of shift that give people lasting change physically, emotionally, and mentally. For me, cancer was a wake up call to step up and take full responsibility for my body and its healing process. I know that I’m at the wheel when it comes to my lifestyle decisions. This attitude has allowed me to fully release myself from the false expectations that with age comes decline.
It’s simple, it’s free and it exponentially increases overall happiness. Learning how to incorporate gratitude into my daily life has been one of the most powerful influencers on my wellness. Imagine, as you move through life, you’re pulling a cart along behind you. In that cart, you carry all the places, people and experiences you’re grateful for. You’ll start to realize that, with age, your cart continues to fill. Once you make this a habit, you can’t help but revel in the process that is life. You start to find all the magic in aging that makes it something to savor instead of dread. The heaviness of societal expectations and self-judgement completely dissolve and you’re left with an untethered sense of freedom to fully experience the richness of life.