Don’t Let Aging Get You Down // Healthy Connections



This is the last installment in our aging series. Read part one on mobility and part two on healthy eating. Whether you are aging yourself, or caring for an aging loved-one, this series offers some great tips to help you.

Attitude is the one thing that can change any situation for better or worse.  As you age, you may find the things that came easily before are now difficult.  You may have habits that can be hard to quit, though you want to change.  Aging can bring discouragement and great joy just like every other stage of life, but whatever happens, we control our outlook.

Much of success and positive health is how you choose to view your circumstances.  Ask yourself, “How will I react the next time I receive bad news?”  Making the best out of what you are given can be the difference between joy and depression.

Sometimes it doesn’t work to just tell yourself to think positive. What else can you do to improve your attitude toward life?  Consider being more grateful, serving others, and being social.

  1. Be grateful: Look for the good in your life. You may be surprised there is more than you realized when you actually start paying attention. As you recognize the good in your life your attitude will naturally improve.  The Utah State University Extension website has some great advice on how to increase personal gratitude.  You can check it out here.
  2. Serve others: You can serve your own family or serve members in your community.  try cooking for a neighbor in need, make blankets for humanitarian kits, or help someone with yard work.  You can also volunteer at your local extension office, more information can be found here. There are many opportunities to serve and they all help keep your mind off your own troubles as you share joy with those you serve.
  3. Find a hobby: If you already live an active lifestyle you may be doing regular activities like tennis, jogging, swimming, fishing etc.; but for some it may hard to transition from taking care of children to being an empty-nester.  If possible, continue personal hobbies through all stages of life.  If you are just getting back into the groove of things, try looking up local classes and events you can attend.  For example, community education classes, lectures, college courses, certifications, concerts, theatrical productions, sports events.  Local senior centers may have social dancing, crafts, line dancing, ceramics, golf, and more.  Learning something new and meeting new people is a great way to improve your attitude.

Moving into your 50’s and 60’s opens up the opportunity to participate in your local Senior Center Activities.  Most activities provided are free; all you need to do is show up.  If you don’t have transportation, find someone willing to drive you.

My grandmother is taking care of my grandfather and has much weighing on her shoulders, but she has continued a positive attitude through her struggles by keeping fun hobbies and habits.  She goes out to get her nails and hair done which also allows her to socialize with her stylist.  She has weekly bridge games she attends with other community friends.  She is a perfect example of how socializing and keeping a good attitude helps you have great quality of life as you age.



This article was written by Kirsten Lamplugh, Intern at the Salt Lake County USU Extension office, BS in Family and Consumer Sciences 


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