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The idea of self-care is often portrayed as something that only busy, young professionals need. In fact, self-care should be ongoing throughout our lives, and taking the time to focus on your health and happiness is the best way to live well in your senior years. This is why all seniors need self-care that’s easy, affordable and part of their everyday lives.
Take a Break
You may have fewer responsibilities these days, but seniors today are more active than ever. Even though being engaged with life is healthy, we all need a break from time to time. One of the best ways to take a break is to disconnect from “real” life by going on a vacation. With travel not advisable for seniors during the pandemic, a safer alternative is to take a “staycation.”
How do you take a vacation without traveling? One answer is to rent a home near your home town or city. Renting a home makes it easier to take your mind off of obligations and focus on fun and relaxation.
Learn Something New
You’ve probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it” sometime in your life. This could be said for strength, but for older adults, it also applies to cognitive function. We use our brains for everyday tasks, but we also need to stretch our brains by learning. Many seniors feel self-conscious about trying new things, but the truth is that lack of self-confidence is the main thing standing in your way. According to Scientific American, researchers found that seniors who engaged in active learning, such as learning a language, how to use new technology, or how to draw or paint, experienced increased cognitive abilities.
You may not think of learning as self-care, but this doesn’t mean sitting in a college classroom. Simply choosing a new activity you would enjoy can be fun, rewarding, and helps your brain stay healthier as you age. If you’re on a budget, activities like genealogy, bird watching, and taking all sorts of classes can be incredibly affordable.
Find Your “Fit” in Fitness
Finding your “fit” in fitness isn’t about toning up. Instead, it’s about finding a way that fitness can work for you. Being active is the ultimate self-care practice because of how beneficial it is for your physical and mental health. However, for many seniors, being active isn’t as easy as throwing on some sneakers for a run. The good news is you can still reap the benefits of exercise at home by choosing a few good workout videos, purchasing inexpensive equipment, and clearing away enough space in a room to exercise safely.
Keep your diet in mind as well. It’s possible to still eat healthy yet delicious foods. Snack ideas like turkey jerky, roasted chickpeas, and tuna lettuce wraps are tasty options with energy-boosting protein.
Fill a Need
Sometimes self-care is about giving attention to areas in our lives where there may be a void. These can be bigger issues like loneliness, or they can be small things, like simple pleasures in life. Either way, it can be harder for seniors to meet these needs than it was when we were younger.
In this case, self-care is overcoming the obstacles to meeting these needs. Could you reach out to a friend or neighbor? Is transportation what stands in your way? If so, is there someone you can team up with, or a ride sharing service where you live? If you lack the motivation, try returning to the simple joys you used to relish. The website Bustle calls these practices old-fashioned, but truly, simple joys like getting your hair done or going shopping never go out of style.
These examples show how self-care can be even more important in your senior years. Your physical and emotional needs don’t go away, even when meeting them is more challenging. This is why focusing on regular self-care is such a vital part of aging healthier and happier.
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