Good health, what does that mean?
It means different things at different times in your life. Having a strong healthy body is assumed in your 20's. By your 30's, you begin to see you can’t take things for granted and may pay a little more attention to your diet and how much exercise you get. Your 40's begin to display the results of past neglect. Baking in the sun to get that golden tan in your teens and 20's, shows up in the fine lines accenting your eyes or possibly skin cancer.
By the time you turn 50 you actively try to turn back the clock. Your energy might be better spent in repurposing your life to establish balance between your Body, Mind and Spirit. This alone will prepare you for the years to come in a way that will bring both optimal health and ultimate happiness.
Our body must be kept in good repair because we take it with us into our old age. We feel best when we pursue a lifestyle that focuses on good health based on disease prevention. We know that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is necessary for healthy living along with regular exercise. Haven’t been doing a great job with this? Making changes doesn’t have to be difficult, but works better with a consistent effort. The wisdom of eating an apple a day has proven true, so start with that. Did you know walking just 10 minutes a day can boost your energy level and help your joints work smoother? Getting adequate rest and relaxation is vital for care of your whole self. Do you sleep soundly? Sleep is recuperative. Constant sleep deprivation predisposes you to a number of health problems. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, increasing your daily exercise may help. Taking a simple 15 minute nap can help you get through your day in addition to recharging your internal healing system. Our bodies are wonderful machines but we need to keep them well oiled by paying attention to daily maintenance, thus keeping them in optimal condition.
Improving your mental state is a lifelong challenge. Finding new outlets for using your gifts in one of the many volunteer opportunities that abound, keeps your mind sharp while widening your worldly perspective of being in touch with and in service to others. Serving others deepens our sense of gratitude which strengthens balance.
Have you lost touch with who you are. . . now? Take time out everyday to spend some quality time alone with yourself. Rediscover what energizes you. Do you like to paint? Do that. Do you like to sing? Join a local chorus. Look deep in your heart to determine what makes you come alive. Then take action and do those things.
For many, care of the soul is the anchor for balance and good overall health. Having deep convictions and values can boost every aspect of well being. Belief in a higher power, whatever you call that, can give you courage to endure and overcome a multitude of trials in life. Spirituality is critical to wellness and enables you to endure when you feel the weakest and most vulnerable. How do you feed your spirit? Again, simplicity is the key. A walk in early morning light is energizing and helps you stay in sync with the circadian rhythm of your body. Fill your home with music or artwork that speaks to your soul. A cup of tea and a quiet moment can work wonders in getting you back in touch with your inner wisdom. Spending regular time in prayer or meditation leads you to a deeper appreciation of life.
Body, Mind and Spirit; they all work together. Keeping your life in balance will be the best gift you can give yourself as you grow older. You will notice subtle changes over time in your attitude, outlook and energy level as you become the best you can be after 50.
Nancy Montani is a Spiritual Director, Life and Retirement Coach and owns Holistic Retirement Living, which takes a Body, Mind and Spirit approach to living the good life in retirement. She is presently writing a book on women and retirement. You are welcome to leave comments and contribute success stories for the book at her blog: http://womenneverretire.blogspot.com