Senior citizens are special; we have special needs. You can’t just stick us in front of the TV like a toddler and call it good. We’re active, involved, and feeling. In general, we’re not waiting around for someone else to entertain us or solve our problems.
While our lives are richly rewarding, we can also experience periods of being scared, isolated, and stuck.
Like most people, it never hurts to be reminded of ways we can live happier. This can be tricky especially if we’re dealing with health issues or the loss of a loved one.
Nearly five years ago, I posted “Ten Things to Make Your Senior Moments Happier” (March 24, 2013) and that post went on to be the most viewed of all time. This popularity tells me seniors want some suggestions to improve their lives, whether they’ve got one month or fifty years left.
The information in that 2013 blog remains vibrant and useful, but I’m updating it here to more clearly reflect current events that affect the happiness of seniors (or all people, for that matter!).
So, here goes:
- Cultivate social connections. Enjoy the Internet but heed the warning that too much time on social media detracts from time spent physically with others. Can’t get a touchy-feely hug from Facebook!
- Give to others. Are you wealthy? By that, I mean wealthy in terms of time and energy as well as money. Then share the wealth! Nothing takes the focus off our own problems quite like helping someone else.
- Take a stand. Feel confident in the value of your opinion and then let it go even if everyone doesn’t agree with you.
- Stop sweating the small stuff. Save your energy for the big issues. Will it bother you a month or year from now? If not, let it go.
- Zip it. Ahhh, we love to hear ourselves talk. Unfortunately, others don’t feel as attracted to every minute thing we have to share.
- Find out what works for you. Look for new ideas to improve your life. Would a month or two of therapy help? Go for it. Would taking a class give you satisfaction? Sign up now!
- Listen more, talk less. See No. 5. above.
- Ground the gossip. What a waste of time and energy. Plus, there’s no quicker way to signal to your friends that you’d be willing to gossip about them then engaging in idle chatter about others.
- Listen to your body and rest. Look every day at what might bring you comfort and relaxation. Take a nap, get a manicure, spend time in nature … alone.
- Live for today. Repeat this mantra every morning. ‘Nuf said.
I believe paying more attention to these ten items will indeed improve your life. I haven’t been successful with them all the time, by any means, but I keep this list nearby to remind myself of the possibility for greater joy.