As the saying goes, “Growing old is not for the faint of heart.” With age comes retirement, physical challenges, loss of loved ones, living in a youth-fixated culture, and this year, add living through a pandemic to the list.
Even in the face of these and other hurdles, many older adults continue life’s race with gumption and winning attitudes! What makes seniors so expert at adapting to and overcoming hardships in their path?
Quite simply, most older adults have developed a knack for being resilient. Over the years, life experiences, from surviving wars to raising families to managing financial fluctuations, has taught seniors a thing or two about being resilient in the face of adversity and how to buffer life’s ups and downs.
They’ve bounced back from hardship and are now stronger than before, and you can learn to do the same! Here’s how to foster resiliency at any age:
- Stay connected – When the chips are down, you will need good friends and family to rely on for support and encouragement, so keep in touch with your circle of people with phone calls, e-mails, letters and visits.
- Make healthy choices – Physical strength will help you weather any storm. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and following your doctor’s orders for medications and check-ups.
- Practice faith – If you belong to a church, your minister and congregation can help you through tough times, or, if organized religion is not your thing, find peace and clarity by practicing mindful meditation and simple breathing exercises.
- Find joy in the moment – Laughter can be a powerful stress reducer in any situation. You can get your giggles from watching a funny movie, reading cartoons or spending time with someone who shares your sense of humor for a good belly laugh.
- Keep positive – Try and find the good in any situation and take one day at a time when the big picture seems overwhelming.
- Count your blessings – Make note of what you appreciate in life, from the big things such as the people whom you are grateful for to the small things like a hot cup of morning coffee, to become grounded with a sense of healthy gratitude.
After months of being resilient this past year, the old and young alike are ready to turn the page to 2021 and welcome new and better days ahead. The experience of successfully living through a pandemic has put our collective resiliency to the test and will make us stronger to face whatever new challenges await.