It’s strange to publish something about happiness, especially as the world faces the biggest health challenge in years. But perhaps now more than ever, happiness has a place in the world in mitigating the fear and anxiety we are all feeling. With our days filled with a new normal rotation of habits and emotions, it’s only natural to be frightened.
Staying positive when the news is all doom and gloom can be a hard, even for the most optimistic people. While it is true we need to take the Coronavirus Pandemic seriously, it does not mean we have to let it break us. Yes, it is impacting our economy and causing illness worldwide. And, yes, we see, hear and read about these topics literally all day. But in times of constant negative messaging, you need an antidote.
As we monitor the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic it has become clear that the best way to protect the wellbeing of the public, and in particular older adults is to offer some insight on the resources currently available. During this time of heightened awareness about public health and reducing risk of exposure for ourselves and those we care for, it’s very important for you to get information from trusted sources.
We are in the midst of a really difficult time for all of us. Here at Chateau La Jolla it is no different. Our main goal is to keep out residents and staff safe and healthy. The residents have settled into the need for wearing masks and social distancing. Most of them are self-isolating. We are keeping in touch with all of them by phone calls, texts and/or email, newsletters with updates, games, jokes and stories as well as delivering meals to each daily.
Age with attitude, because, it is not the age, it is the attitude that defines us. Growing older is not about becoming someone new. It’s about recognizing that there is always more of the world, and of yourself, to explore. And, in retirement aging is a time to develop new interests and expand on those you may not have had time for before. It’s about taking your experience and building on it, and knowing that you never have to give up just because you are getting older.
While the thought of living well sounds wonderful, the question is, just how do we do that? Is it a matter of eating well, sleeping enough, and getting plenty of exercise? Or, is it a matter of continuing to challenge yourself and stay spiritually connected? Consider that to live means to act. To live means you participate in life. You initiate action, create goals, make plans to help implement and work on the desired outcome, and dive in. Now consider that wellness refers to an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy fulfilling life. Living well means you believe, no matter what your age, that you are a work in progress. Still growing, still learning and still stepping outside your comfort zone.
The purpose of life is a life with purpose. Life purpose is something for which one is responsible. As Khalil Gibran once said, your work is your love made visible. Or simply stated, life purpose is about finding your gift and then giving it away. For some, the question that resonates the most after retirement is, who am I when I am no longer? All too often, what we do defines our self-identity. This can leave many retirees struggling to find their place in life. As a society, we are far too concerned with what people do for a living. And, because we have all been conditioned to think this way, we may lose our sense of purpose after retirement. But realizing you've lost your purpose is just the first step to finding a new one.
Active and engaged are two words synonymous with redefining retirement. Today, retirement is about reinvention, of your life, and how it’s lived. It’s a continuation of life that allows one to fulfill all the things they dreamed of doing. Whether that means embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavor, or continuing an education, retirement is a time in our life that continually expands. That is, if we allow it. At the end of the day, retirement means what ever you make it mean. And, what’s so great is that we can define it in whatever terms we want. When you approach retirement with curiosity and an open mind, the possibilities are endless.
Have you ever wondered what makes someone successful in retirement? Is it the money or how much they have? Not entirely, but it helps! While money plays an important factor in our life, money cannot buy happiness. One of the deepest-rooted desires of retirees is to live a fulfilled and happy life. But, to do this we need to be intentional when it comes to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. That’s because when one area of your life suffers, all the other areas will follow eventually. If you want to be successful in retirement, you need to strive for balance. By learning to embrace happiness and inner peace simply by changing and incorporating some healthy habits into your life, success is within your reach.
From the moment we are born, we begin to age. Getting older is inevitable. The years come with predictability and regularity that cannot be altered. It is only after we reach a certain age that we begin to wonder, if we’ve done all the right things. We can’t stop the aging process, but we can influence how well we age. You are not defined by your age. And, acting old now, well that’s just optional. Aging is natural and should be embraced. Aging well is our responsibility and what we should strive for. Aging well is a choice for most people. The decisions you make, your habits, and your lifestyle all affect how you live your retired years.