You can improve your life, living it better but it will take some effort.
Living life well takes effort, takes energy. But it doesn’t take much and it won’t cost anything at all, or very little. However, the benefits will be real and maybe even incredible.
Here the top 10 things you can do to make your life feel better.
- Join something
Find a club that you might be interesting to you. Find out how you can attend a few meetings to see how it fits. Studies have shown that this kind of socialization can lift one’s spirits. Connect with people who have similar interests as you, people who have things in common with you. You may develop a social network with new friends who will take an interest in the same things as you, better living.
Get a library card and go to the library. Find out what activities they have especially directed at older adults. The library has seniors meetings, book clubs, movie meetings, tea times for seniors. Once again, you will meet people with similar interests. You will have the opportunities to mix, mingle and interact with people who also want to share what they think and what they enjoy talking about.
- Get dressed, comb your hair, put on some makeup
( gender consideration here )
Research has found that getting dressed changes one’s mindset as well. Put on a dress shirt/blouse and some dress pants/slacks and pay attention to how your mind shifts into a different mode. Mamie S. is a 95 year old who if you met her, you would swear she is in her late 70’s, no older. Her hair is always combed and set. She wears a bit of makeup and it looks good on her. She wears blouses and sweaters that look like ‘church going’ proper. Her slacks, a subdued check pattern, are always sharply pressed. She speaks clearly with vigour and enthusiasm. She is a dynamite mid 90s year old.
- Go out
Now that you’re dressed, go someplace. Go to the mall and window shop. Look at what is selling nowadays; look at how the stores are decorating their windows for the upcoming season; look how they promote their goods. Look at the other people in the mall, how they are dressed, who they are with, how they interact with one another. Sit in a mall food court with a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water and do some people watching. Look for laughter, for joy, for happiness…and let that spirit flow over to you.
- Keep a journal
Start a journal writing about a variety of things, something different every day: your mood, something about yesterday, what made you laugh, made you smile, what you feel grateful for, what is good in your life, who you value in your life. Look for positive things that you have experienced and write about one or two each day.
- Drink water
Water really is the elixir of life. It is the lubricant the body uses to keep joints more flexible. It smooths out the complexion reducing wrinkles. It helps circulation. It helps digestion and elimination. Sip a little at a time rather than gulping large quantities all at one time. Sipping will reduce the number of washroom stops you will need during the day. Sipping means you will go to the bathroom less frequently than you would if you drink by gulping large quantities at one time.
- Take a walk
Get outside and go for a walk. Put on appropriate shoes, dress for the weather and get outside, every day. Even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes, although the benefits increase in relation to the length of time you are out. And just walk at a pace that is comfortable for you. It can be a relaxed, easy pace, not an athlete’s Olympic calibre one. Enjoy your surroundings, observe the weather, the season as it is changing and how it affects the surroundings. Look at the trees, the lawns, the shrubs in the neighbourhood. Even look at how people are dressed for the weather. Enjoy their colours, the variety of what they wear. Breathe consciously and feel the air coming into your body. Enjoy the sunshine and if it’s raining, laugh and see the benefits from the rain but stay dry: use your umbrella.
- Phone somebody
Phone someone you know, maybe someone you have not talked with for a long time. Set an ‘egg timer’ to just a few minutes to limit the length of your call. Some people are busier in their lives and will appreciate a phone call of limited duration rather than a long, repetitious one. Keep a log book of your phone calling history.
Write a short story. Limit it to a certain number of pages, a certain number of words. Have fun remembering something you have experienced, people you have known. Write about what you have seen on your walks, your mall visits.
Read the news and feel your reaction to a story. Write your reaction to the editor of your local newspaper. It may even get published on the ‘Letters to the editor’ page.
Write on the Internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…after all if that old fogie in the White House can tweet daily, why can’t you!
- Learn something
Learn something new. Studies have shown not only that there are many emotional benefits to learning something new, a language, a new skill, a new technology, even the lyrics to a song but you are actually learning a new skill. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as you learn it. You will become proud of what you have achieved but be sure to mark from where you have started in terms of capability and log your progress. Have realistic expectations. Some skills take much longer to learn; also, each of us has differing capacities to learn different things. Some people seem to be able to learn languages more easily than others. Some people have an ear for music. No matter. Everyone can learn; how much and how quickly varies. Watch yourself and see how you are doing and enjoy it no matter what pace it’s at.
Take a break each day to dance or to sing. Take a few minutes to get up and dance. Turn up the radio when you hear a song you like or one that makes you want to move. Get up and move. A waltz is as good as a cha cha…the important thing is that you got up and moved. Maybe you are limited physically. Then, move what you can and move it to the rhythm of the music. Enjoy the sense of movement to a rhythm.
Sing out loud. Don’t worry if you aren’t on key, or if you don’t sing well…says who….you sing! How you sing is YOU…and nobody sings like you do. But sing out loud. Sing a song you know. Better still, learn the words to a new song; learn the tune and sing it loudly. Enjoy the concert…you’re the STAR!
There you have it. 10 ways to make life better. No matter where you are on the ‘joy of living’ scale, doing one or two of the above suggestions will move you up the scale. Try it, you might like it and we sure would like to hear how it works out for you. Send us your ‘write up’ of how you added a little more joy to your life.
Send it to email@example.com