Health & wellbeing

Slowing down or speeding up?

11 Apr 2024 | Written by Susanna Lewis

Ahead of the next ‘Writing for wellbeing‘ workshop, The Joy Club member and wonderful host Susanna Lewis shares her thoughts on the idea of slowing down or speeding up as we get older.

As we get older it is presumed that we will slow down, both physically and mentally. Society projects the image of an ageing person hunched over, walking slowly with a walking stick or sat in front of the television every day watching mindless daytime tv programmes.

But is that reality? Do we really hit a certain age and everything falls away from our life as we knew it? If we believe that, then are we just too ready to accept the inevitable, like some self-fulfilling prophecy. Can we really change and alter what we are destined for, what society wants for us? Well, I believe we can. I believe we all can make some changes to our life that will halt the slowing down process and maybe even allow us to say ‘No! I’m not going to put my slippers on just yet and perch on a chair doing nothing!’.

Of course, no one can halt back time and allow us all to live as a fresh-faced youth going through life without a care in the world. Our body slowly develops strange aches and pains that alert us to that dreaded realisation that we are indeed getting older. We may put weight on (usually around the middle – they don’t call it middle age spread for nothing!) we don’t remember things as easily, we walk into a room and forget what we went into the room for, we notice those wrinkles and lines on our face that we immediately associate with the ageing process and we become aware that we don’t have as much energy as we used to, with tiredness becoming a frequent visitor to our daily life.

Ok, enough of this negativity! We are on this planet to live a fulfilled and happy life whatever our age. There are no written rules that say you HAVE to slow down after the age of sixty, so isn’t it time that we stopped accepting the inevitable and start looking for ways to help slow down the effects of ageing and maybe speed up the quality of our life?

So here are my top tips for helping you achieve that youthful attitude once again.

1 Be positive. Stop listening and reading negative and derogatory comments about ageing. Ban all negativity towards ageing from your life or people who constantly accept the inevitability of getting old. Forget your age and start to live fully.

2 Increase your daily exercise. This will help improve your physical and mental health and increase endorphin production in your body helping you feel more energised and happier.

3 Increase your social life. Stay around people who have a zest for life and a spring in their step. Their energy will rub off on you and you will feel more positivity, regardless of your age.

4 Eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Eating healthy food regularly will improve your overall health and wellbeing and will slow down the halt of age-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

5 Try and get good quality sleep. While you sleep your body heals and refreshes itself allowing good cell rejuvenation.

6 Try and manage stress levels. Even if we are no longer working there are still life stressors for us to deal with. But too much stress can cause issues with blood pressure and other health problems. Meditation and other relaxation techniques can be very helpful.

7 It is common for older adults to lose some memory ability and even to become forgetful. Do not panic about this but try and do cognitive activities that can help improve your thinking skills. Reading, crosswords, mental agility games, learning a new language, or even playing bingo can all help your memory function.

8 Look after your overall health by getting regular checks such as blood pressure, blood sugars and eye / ear checks. By doing this you can correct any weakness and get on top of an issue before it escalates.

There is so much we can do to enjoy our life regardless of our age. We don’t have to do as society expects and slow down to a snail’s pace and retire into a quiet corner, devoid of stimulation and fulfilment. Age really is just a number and we don’t have to accept the inevitable of society’s view of the older person.

If you would like to explore this topic more then why not join me on Monday 15th April at 11am here at the Joy Club. In my class ‘Writing For Wellbeing’ we can look deeper into this subject through writing and informal, fun discussion.

I hope to see you there.

Susanna x

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