How to Stay Young:
Advice for Caregivers…and Everyone Else
This article is about staying young and taking care of ourselves. Self-care is perhaps one of the most important elements to effective caregiving. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, it is impossible to effectively take care of another; despite how hard you try.
Here is my TOP 10 list for staying young:
1. Enjoy the simple things. If it takes you 20 minutes to get to the car with a loved one, notice the birds, the waves of trees, the sky…anything. You can find joy and gratitude in the little things. Remember that for some day they may become the big things.
2. Let the doctor worry about numbers such as age and weight. I’m certainly suggesting you stay healthy and fit yet don’t focus on the numbers themselves. They are just numbers. Age is just a number and a state of mind.
3. Laugh often. Laugh loud. Laugh so loud you snort, pee your pants or cry! Laugh because of the way others are laughing around you. Have you ever done this? I know I have! Laughter is for the young at heart.
4. Cherish your health. Your health is all you have. If you aren’t healthy and becoming healthy is within your means, you aren’t able to live a life you love. Period. If you can do something about it, do it. Join a health challenge.
5. Keep people around you that lift you up. Get rid of the grouches and naysayers. You can’t afford to be around people who tear you down. There is a saying that we are as effective as the top 5 people we spend time with. Who are these 5 people and do they represent who you are or where you are going? If not, cut them loose.
6. Be a lifelong learner. Regardless of your situation, make time to do something you enjoy or want to learn more about.. Never ever keep your brain idle.
7. Surround yourself with what you love. This is different than #5 in that here I’m referring to your home. Your home is your refuge. Family, pets, music, plants, keepsakes or other mementos…whatever it is that makes you happy.
8. Tears happen. Let them flow. If anyone ever tells you to get over something, imagine me giving them a swift kick for you. We never get ‘over’ things; we get ‘through’ them. Be good to yourself. This means crying when you need to cry. Welcome your feelings and let them come up and out. That’s the healthy way of managing grief. Do it on your time and nobody else’s. Be sure though to release and let go of that which no longer serves you as soon as you feel you can. Holding onto grief only serves to manifest issues in other areas of your life and your health.
9. Forgive… for YOU. Taking #8 a step further, holding onto anger, sadness, grief, etc… only serves to fill your mind with that which doesn’t help move you through the situation. I know how hard it can be to forgive someone who has betrayed you in some way or feel spite because of a loss, forgive anyway. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person or situation. Forgiveness is for YOU. Plain and simple. Don’t let others live in your head rent free. They don’t deserve it. Forgive them and you change your life!
10. Tell those closest to you that you love them every single day. They deserve to know you love them and you deserve to share your feelings with them.
BONUS: Those that know me well know that GRATITUDE is one of my biggest strategies for staying young, enjoying life and staying healthy.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie
If you have trouble finding things to be grateful for, here’s a list to get you started:
- I am grateful for eyes to see and hears to hear.
- I give thanks for my hands to feel, write and hold special people and things.
- I am thankful for having clothes and a roof over my head.
- I am so incredibly grateful for nature music and water.
- I am thankful for all my happy memories.
- I am eternally grateful for each breath that I take.
YOUR TURN: What resonates with you from this article? Do you have another item you would add for how to stay young? Please share below!