Retirement 10: Pay Yourself First

Accept and be good to yourself. 

Begin by being as good to yourself as you’d be to a friend.  Most of us tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Pay yourself first.

Think back to the times that you’ve been far more accepting and forgiving to others in your life than you were to yourself and see if you can’t cut yourself some slack.  There’s nothing selfish in that.

Special gifts just for you.

Gift yourself first
Be good to yourself.

Start by doing things that enrich you – your body, your mind, and your soul.  Find things that nurture you and make you feel good about yourself.  They can be big things – traveling to South America – or small things – learning to bake the perfect pie!

Increase your self esteem and self confidence.

Applying these gifts to your life will increase your sense of self and your self-confidence.  Research echoes these suggestions.  Take a look at this excerpt from Psychology Today.

“As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show love and empathy to them also.

If we are filling our own emotional tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.”

Enjoy these “gifts” for you.   A few suggestions for self-acceptance follow: Continue reading Retirement 10: Pay Yourself First

Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

Dixie recently wrote a post about positive aging being a state of mind.  Well, yes, and a new study out of the University of California suggests that she’s right and that resilience may be the key to positive aging.

Nature is resilient. Be like nature!

How So?

  • Older adults with health problems but high resilience – the ability to bounce back from negative events – rated their degree of successful aging just as highly as those without health problems.
  • Even those who had struggled with cancer, heart disease, and a range of other problems, but didn’t suffer from depression, rated their degree of successful aging quite highly.

Continue reading Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

Five Fabulous Ways to Improve Your Memory and Have Fun Doing It!

In my last post about healthy aging, we explored some basic ways to protect the brain.  I promised in that post to provide some additional fun and effective ideas to improve memory for now and in the future.  Here’s a list that can easily be incorporated into daily life.  Choose one or two or go for all of them.

How to Improve Your Memory

You’ll love video games, and so will your brain!
  1. Challenge your brain.  You can read or do crosswords or watch football or play cards or brain games.  Any or all of these are good.  Make it even more effective by doing something new.  If you’ve done crosswords forever, try learning to play video games.  They’re not just for kids. Lots of research shows that the brain loves learning something novel.

Continue reading Five Fabulous Ways to Improve Your Memory and Have Fun Doing It!

Positive Aging: Is Aging a State of Mind?

Did I ever think I would be riding my bike at 73, after two strokes, back surgery and years of Type 1 Diabetes on an insulin pump?       YES!

Here’s an example of Positive Aging:

Many of my neighbors and friends in our 55 plus community comment on how they personally “feel” younger than their age suggests.

I know it’s true for me, 73, as well as for my husband, almost 73.

The question was recently raised, “younger relative to what?”  Personal opinion?

Well, of course!  Only I know whether I feel younger than my parents’ or grandparents’ seemed  at 73.  And my parents were still travelling in their motor home across the country at 73.

Why?   Continue reading Positive Aging: Is Aging a State of Mind?

Healthy Aging: How to Protect Your Brain

Healthy aging depends upon a healthy brain.  How many times do you start to say something only to find that the word or the name that is right there on the tip of your tongue just won’t come?  It happens to me all the time and not only does it frustrate me; it frightens me.

Older brains need workouts too. Work yours out!

I’m frightened of dementia, but I’m also scared of just the ordinary decline in cognitive ability that comes from the normal wear and tear on our brains as we get older.  Our brains can atrophy – just like our muscles – and I want to do everything I can do to prevent or slow that decline.

What can we do to protect our brains?

Continue reading Healthy Aging: How to Protect Your Brain

Managing Retirement Stress

Stress isn’t all bad.  Being mildly stressed can actually help us perform better in a committee presentation or on the tennis court.  It gives us a little edge, and it’s been around forever.  It’s the thing that helped our ancestors outrun the saber-toothed tiger, and though the tiger is long gone, the stress of modern life – even in retirement – can rob us of the joy we seek at this time in our lives.

It’s living with chronic stress – that constant bombardment of worry and anxiety – that’s the real problem.   You know that tight feeling you get in the middle of your chest or the pit of your stomach?  Your heart pounds; your hands get sweaty; and you wake up worrying in the middle of the night.  Eventually, it can lead to health problems by making our hearts work harder and harming our immune systems.    That means that stress management should be a priority for all of us.

Conquer your stress. It'll kill ya!
Conquer your stress. It’ll kill ya!

The good news is that there’s plenty we can do to control the stress in our lives.  All we need is a plan!  In the next few blog posts we’ll be talking about taking steps to conquer stress in our lives.  Let’s get started right away.

Three easy steps to getting started with stress management:

Continue reading Managing Retirement Stress