men's health week
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

Unleash Your Golden Years: A Self-Care Guide for Men

Imagine your twilight years. Not a time of decline, but a vibrant chapter brimming with purpose, strong connections, and a zest for life.

This isn't wishful thinking; it's the reality unlocked by prioritizing self-care. For men in retirement, self-care isn't a luxury, it's the key to thriving in your golden years.

Breaking Through Barriers: Addressing Misconceptions

Let's be honest, the concept of self-care can be shrouded in misconceptions. We juggle busy schedules, societal pressures, and ingrained ideas about masculinity. But here's the truth: self-care isn't about self-indulgence; it's about investing in yourself. Dedicating a few minutes each day to self-care practices can have a profound impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Think of it as building a strong foundation for a fulfilling future.

The Transformative Power of Self-Care

Self-care is a multi-faceted approach to nurturing your whole self. Let's delve into the specific ways it empowers you:

  • Maintaining Physical Vitality: As we age, staying active becomes even more crucial. Regular exercise, even gentle activities like brisk walks or yoga, strengthens your heart, muscles, and bones. You'll have the energy to pursue your passions, travel the world, or simply enjoy quality time with loved ones. Imagine the exhilaration of that grandchild's hug without worrying about your stamina!
  • Sharpening Your Mind and Soothing Your Soul: Self-care extends beyond the physical. Activities like meditation, journaling, or even talking to a therapist can significantly improve your mental and emotional well-being. Mindfulness practices like meditation help you manage stress and anxiety, leading to a calmer, more centered you. Journaling allows you to process emotions, navigate past challenges, and gain valuable self-awareness. Don't hesitate to seek professional support if needed; it's a sign of strength, not weakness, to prioritize your mental health.
  • Building a Strong Support System: Social connection is a vital pillar of well-being. Loneliness can be a silent threat, so make a conscious effort to nurture friendships, join social groups, and reconnect with family. Self-care is about building a strong support system that keeps you feeling connected, valued, and engaged. Plan regular outings with friends, participate in community events, or volunteer for a cause you care about. These connections provide a sense of belonging and purpose, enriching your life in countless ways.
  • Reignite Your Passions: Remember that dream you always had of learning a new language, writing a novel, or finally mastering that guitar? Self-care is about reigniting your passions and rediscovering what brings you joy. Explore dormant interests, learn a new skill, or volunteer for a cause that inspires you. It's your time to shine! Pursue your passions and allow them to add vibrancy and purpose to your golden years.

Overcoming Challenges: Tailored Solutions

Understand that incorporating self-care into your life can be met with challenges. You've worked hard all your life and maybe forgot to put time in for yourself. Let's address some common obstacles and offer practical solutions:

  • Time Constraints? No Problem: Start small and find activities that seamlessly integrate into your daily routine. Squeeze in a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, take a few mindful breaths while waiting in line, or spend a few minutes journaling before bed. Consistency is key, so focus on progress, not perfection. Men often put work first, family second, and themselves last. Now it's time to put themselves first so they can enjoy more time with their families. 
  • Embracing Change: New habits can be intimidating. Approach self-care with an open mind and a spirit of exploration. Try different activities and find what resonates with you. Maybe meditation isn't your cup of tea, but a daily walk in nature could be incredibly grounding. Pick up some new friends who are out and about. Join a men's club. Try a new sport like pickleball. 
  • Seeking Support: Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's talking to your doctor, joining a men's group, or finding a therapist, seeking support is a sign of strength. There's no shame in admitting you need a helping hand. Filling the void left from retirement is a daunting task. Some men transition extremely well.  Others find that being home is a challenge even Napoleon would like to avoid!
  • Financial Concerns? Get Creative: Self-care doesn't have to break the bank. Take advantage of free community events, online exercise tutorials, and local parks. Explore low-cost fitness options, borrow books from the library, or turn a hobby into a money-saving activity (think cooking delicious meals at home instead of dining out). Resourcefulness is key! Don't let your adult children or spouse put pressure on you to spend money. Speak up and let everyone know what a fixed budget means. 
  • Breaking the Mold: Forget outdated notions about masculinity. Self-care is for everyone. It's about taking charge of your well-being and prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional health. It's about feeling your best, both inside and out. Find the "new" you!  Do the things you want and share them with your spouse, family, and friends. 

All of seniors can't wait to meet you and welcome you to the "Retirement" Club!

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asking for help with aging parents
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

How to Ask Your Siblings to Help You with Your Aging Parents

What comes to mind when you think, “I need help with Mom and Dad.”?

Let's talk about asking for help when we are caring for our aging parents.

Well, think about it. You’re the son or daughter who is now realizing that you need help with your parents. 

So far so good but now you're finding that you don't have time for yourself, your own family, your work, or your friends. and you are beginning to miss the lifestyle you once knew.

What's up with that?

Yet here we are stuck because we don't know how to ask for help and we're afraid that if we do our siblings will start to question our abilities to care for Mom and Dad.

Adult children typically desire to maintain family harmony and foster positive relationships with their siblings during this challenging time so they come together for a common goal. 

Caring for aging parents can be a bonding experience for siblings, providing opportunities for them to come together, support one another, and strengthen their relationships.

But this isn’t always the case, is it?

One of the most significant challenges adult children may face when asking their siblings for help is the unequal distribution of caregiving responsibilities.

Siblings may have differing opinions or approaches to caregiving, leading to disagreements or conflicts about the best course of action for their aging parents. And then the spouses of adult children want to add their input so the conversations become even more muddied. 

Siblings who live far apart from one another face additional challenges in coordinating care for their aging parents so they assume the child who lives closest can do all the work. This leads to resentment. 

And sometimes, as adult children, we feel guilty when asking our siblings for help in caring for our aging parents. They have a lot going on and their spouses are not happy with us for asking. 

We’ve all felt this at one time or another. 

It’s not easy asking for help.

For example, let’s say I want to ask my brother for help with my mom. 

Here are some thoughts that I might have…

  • Since I’m the daughter, shouldn’t it fall on me to do the work?  Should I feel guilty asking him or his wife?
  • If I ask my brother for help, will he think less of me?
  • Will he question WHY I am asking for help?  Am I not able to do it properly?  Or in his case, perfectly?
  • I may also fear that my brother won’t follow through on his commitments. I know him well enough to know that what he says and what he does are two different things. 
  • Or, maybe my mom adores my brother and I can do nothing right. Now I’ve got a new conflict because she starts to compare me to my wonderful brother who really doesn’t do anything to help but she sees him as the biggest helper. Oh, brother!!
  • Maybe my brother is the kind of person who wants to take over all control. After all, he is narcissistic and believes in his way or the highway and then he starts gaslighting me and telling me everything I’ doing wrong. Do I really want him around?
  • Maybe we have some past issues.  Geez. Let’s not even get into those!

Does any of this sound familiar? After all, we can’t pick our families, can we?

So how do we get past this and ask for the help we really need?

First, we can be empathetic. I can show my brother some appreciation for how hard he works and how many directions he is pulled in. Maybe my sister-in-law is a hard person to live with but he puts up with her and worries about the kids. I don’t really know what goes on in their home so how can I not feel some empathy here? 

Second, I can offer my brother some flexibility. We can share responsibilities. He is really good at finances so maybe I could turn them over to him but keep some out in case he gets greedy.  Maybe he could look at all the legal paperwork and take that over. Or is he really knowledgeable about medical care or just talking through a crisis?  I could use him there. 

I need to find the things he’s good at and not ask him to do the things he does not enjoy. For example, I know he doesn’t like calling mom because she talks forever, so instead he tells me when he’s going to call her.  I agree to call him 15 minutes after that and he cuts Mom off and tells her he has to take my call or he texts her and I teach her how to text back. 

Third, I do not use blame as a way to motivate him. For example, I use the words “I” or “I feel…” instead of saying, “You did this” or “YOU didn’t do that…” So we maintain positive communication. 

Does this really work?

It does and it takes practice. We go from feeling dreadful when working with siblings to feeling a positive experience. 

  • I know that by working with my sister and brother, my mom got incredible care. 
  • We distributed the workload using our skills.
  • We pooled our resources and it was amazing what they knew and I didn’t!
  • We built mutual respect for one another and it actually made us closer because we understood what each of us were going through in our own homes. 
  • We learned to work through our own conflicting decisions. We kept the focus on mom, not us and we did what was best for her. 
  • So, yes this was a really cool process and as I look back, I am truly grateful to my sister and brother for the love they gave mom and the help they gave me. They are truly amazing people.  What hit me one day that truly blessed me was the fact that I no longer judged them but appreciated them!

Like this?  You can read more when I open up the Senior Freedom Club membership again. It’s FREE to sign up and you are not under any obligation. I'll just let you know when I open back up. I’ve got a checklist on this very topic and simple steps you can take to get your siblings to help you.  I think you’ll want to see it. 

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Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

Amazing Self-Care: A Turning Point

Do you ever feel like this?

You’re taking a moment for yourself sipping your morning tea or coffee and then you realize that something is missing in your life. maybe you're not taking enough time for yourself but the idea seems foreign and almost daunting.

And we think to ourselves where would I ever begin?

As we ponder this question, we can't help but notice all the limiting beliefs in our mind. maybe we think that self-care is selfish or maybe we don't deserve the time for ourselves. maybe we fear judgment. especially if we tell somebody about our needing self-care. another thought we might have is and it just doesn't work and we really don't feel better and it really doesn't make a difference.

If you've ever thought these thoughts, I know how you feel.

It's like, why do I have to keep doing self-care why can't I just do it once and keep it forever? well we know better than that it just doesn't work that way.

I spent years comparing myself to others in terms of weight and shape. and to be honest I just stopped buying clothes. my friends gave me their hand-me-downs and I was perfectly happy with that. I tried Law of Attraction and that only got me frustrated because it didn't work and I felt like I get hope up and it only led to sadness.

And then I finally figured out that the time I relax and spend with myself is really the best time of my day. I enjoy thinking and walking. Maybe even figuring out what my day is going to look like. It has changed me in a way I never knew. Things that used to bother me, don’t anymore. People can say things, news can bring the worst, and I let it slide off me. This is because I take time for myself first.

So, what are three basic tips we could use to begin the process of self-care?

Since you are not one to back down from a challenge, let’s do one of these tips at a time.

Tip #1: This is not an elaborate ritual. Keep it simple, just be “present” for a few minutes every morning. After you find these few minutes or peace, repeat them before you go to bed at night. This will help you feel more centered and ready to tackle whatever your day throws at you.

Tip #2: Next, find or make yourself a “nurturing nook”. It’s that place you go to unwind and think through things. It can be a cozy place in the corner of your house. It can be a chair in your closet. It can be by a window so the sun shines in. When I lived up north, I used a “sunlamp” to expand my days of cloudiness and darkness. This made a huge difference and gave the chance to immerse myself in relaxation.

Tip #3: Being fiercely independent is OK but I knew I was missing people just as much as I was missing the wonders of the world. I asked myself one day, “Why is it that I love to try new things and see new places, and travel, but I don’t pursue the treasures people can bring me?” So I decided to overcome my fear that people would take all my time and found friends who liked the same things I liked. They had their schedules and I had mine so it has worked out and I really wonder why I waited to meet such wonderful people.

As I have embraced these 3 simple self-care practices into my day, my life has slowed. Nothing in a rush anymore. Who cares if I get every red light on my way somewhere? The weight of my own limiting beliefs has lifted. There is a new sense of peace, freedom, tolerance, patience, and yes, empowerment.

I truly believe we all deserve this…to be ourselves by putting ourselves first. We then become the best we can be to others.

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Earth Day
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

What Does Earth Day Really Mean?

There are a few things that Americans have strong disagreements about. One of them is the direction the human race is headed in terms of our environment.

Welcome To Earth Day.

It is always on April 22nd. It was started in 1970.

Its purpose is to serve as a reminder that we all have a collective responsibility to safeguard the environment and our own future.

Today you'll read most things on how to participate in Earth Day but I would like to spend some time discussing some facts (or not) I have hunted through the internet.

After all, we have to “leave a place better than how we found it”.  Isn’t this what we were all taught?

The 2 Big Concerns

The 2 biggies are 1) environmental temperatures and 2) plastics (i.e. Pollution).

I think we can all agree that every country is no longer just an island unto itself but that we have to look at the world view of what we are all doing and how it is impacting our Earth.

With resources in hand, I will let you decide to agree or disagree on these topics. 

Questions about the Earth:

Hasn’t the Earth warmed and cooled naturally?

Yes. Earth has experienced cold periods (informally referred to as “ice ages,” or "glacials") and warm periods (“interglacials”) on roughly 100,000-year cycles for at least the last 1 million years. The last of these ice age glaciations peaked* around 20,000 years ago. Over the course of these cycles, global average temperatures warmed or cooled anywhere from 3° to perhaps as much as 8° Celsius (5°-15° Fahrenheit).

We are currently at the end of an ice age and naturally warming up into Earth’s next cycle. 

How hot will the Earth be in 2050? 

2.7° degrees Fahrenheit warmer than now.

How does CO2 emission affect temperature?

Ice ages are triggered and ended by slow changes in the Earth’s orbit. But changing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 also play a key role in driving both cooling during the onset of ice ages and warming at their end.

The global average temperature was around 4C cooler during the last ice age than it is today. There is a real risk that, if emissions continue to rise, the world warms more this century than it did between the middle of the last ice age 20,000 years ago and today.

While the Earth experienced an ice age lasting for tens of thousands of years, before in the past million years, the ice ages seem to be relatively shorter periods and of warmer temperatures.

Think of CO2 as a finetune “control knob” for the Earth’s climate.

Now let’s look at plastics and pollution…

Which countries account for over 80% of all ocean waste?

Philippines, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka

Top 10 countries with the highest amount of plastic pollution in the oceans since 2022.

  • India (126.5 million kg).
  • China (70.7 million kg).
  • Indonesia (53.3 million kg).
  • Brazil (38 million kg).
  • Thailand (22.8 million kg).
  • Mexico (3.5 million kg).
  • Egypt 2.5 million kg).
  • United States (2.4 million kg).

What country produces the most plastic waste? China. Is this because most consumer products are made in China? 

Which country is plastic-free?  Rwanda. (6 months in jail if caught with plastic)

Why is plastic so harmful to the environment?

  • Threatens wildlife by choking or ingestion 
  • Damages soil with seepage of chemicals
  • Poisons underground water by releasing chemicals
  • Takes 1000 years to break down
  • Plastic is derived from fossil fuels, including natural gas and crude oil, and also contains chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors and threaten human and animal health.

Easy ways to help reduce plastic use

The best way to reduce the impact of single-use plastics on climate change is to stop using this type of plastic. This task can seem quite tricky in a world full of plastic packaging. However, even small changes can have a significant impact. Here are some things to do to limit your single-use plastic waste. 

  • Use a reusable water bottle. 
  • Bring a reusable bag to the store. 
  • Avoid overly packaged items at the grocery store, such as pre-cut fruits and vegetables. 
  • Grocery shop at a bulk foods store. 
  • Repurpose old bottles, plastic wrapping, or containers. 
  • Cook at home instead of ordering takeout, which often includes extra plastic packaging. 
  • Get a travel cutlery set, instead of plastic forks, knives, and spoons. 
  • Use bar soaps and shampoos instead of liquids in plastic bottles. 
  • Buy products that are not wrapped or protected in plastic. 

Oh, and as an added P.S.  Did you know that our birds are pecking away at cigarette butts? Yep, they are getting addicted to the nicotine. 

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learning to love your body
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

Learning to Love Your Body As We Age

As a senior, you’ve probably watched your body descend due to gravity.

Each year brings a new innocent brown spot. You raise your arms and crepe skin appears.

You are not comfortable with all this.  You might even feel this way right now. You might wish you could look differently, and you may tell yourself that if you could just try a new dermatologist or a new skin cream, perhaps you would feel more comfortable in your own skin.

And then you will find the clothes and makeup that make your heart radiate happiness and confidence in this super-aging process. While this is a feeling nearly all seniors can empathize with, our reasons can—and do—vary.

Having examined thousands of “senior” bodies over the years, I will tell you that no one felt comfortable undressing, getting into a gown, and then having me a stranger, come in and peek into all crevices and parts.

Some of us might struggle because we always take great pride in our appearance. We get the feeling our children see us in another light now. They are looking at “old”, and not at us. We see them watch us as we sit, get up from a chair, walk, or even eat. This “watching' is wearing on us.

Some of us struggle with our weight. That belly protrudes and we now wear waist-less tops that flow out and stretch-waist pants.  No bra seems to fit us anymore. What used to make us throw our shoulders back with confidence doesn’t work anymore. Some of us wonder why we didn’t get a bust reduction 20 years ago.

For men, it’s the uncomfortable way we sit. Nothing seems to “adjust properly” anymore. Our bellies weigh down everything below and our lower backs hurt because of our weight. With all this, it makes it difficult to feel good or just plain…normal. We find ourselves concerned about our bodies when we never did before. Regardless of the reason, that feeling of awkwardness is something that all of us know.

Although no one wants to feel like this, it isn’t always bad.

It all starts (and ends) with YOU.

Identify exactly WHAT is bothering you and causing you to feel off or uncomfortable. Notice when that feeling comes up for you—where are you, and what are you doing? Are you looking in the mirror? Trying to get into a pair of pants you used to love to wear? Watching a younger generation? Taking a shower? Shopping for clothes. Is your spouse watching you while you eat? Do you admire your friends because they are younger, healthier, less weight, or richer?

The best way to approach these feelings of “yuk” is by writing them down. You are basically criticizing yourself emotionally. You are saying something to yourself you most likely would never say to another human being. So let’s stop saying these things to ourselves.

Are you comparing yourself to others?

Start with external factors.

  • Know that our advertising industry gives us false narratives. They write a product for seniors over 70 and then show pictures of someone in their 40s. We know better. 
  • Social media is constantly plugging a new cream, vitamin, routine, or food. (I just heard an ad for eating more sprouts. Not sure what that’s all about.)
  • The news tells us what’s best for seniors and it’s written by who? 

I remember my mom showing up at the “Activities Committee” at her senior community. She asked them why they were not getting any input from the residents. They sat there stunned looking sheepish for they were all in their 20s and 30s.

Use internal factors. 

Now start from within. Let’s face it. When we are mad at someone we can’t stay that way very long when we start appreciating them.

  • We place a hand in theirs. 
  • We hug them.
  • We see a light in their eyes.
  • We know how hard they work to love us on our bad days. 

Our gratitude shines through. Let’s do this for ourselves. Let’s give ourselves some gratitude and appreciation for all we accomplish. We are kind, we are thoughtful. We are wise. We have a good heart.

Start there. 

And then appreciate your body. It will usually heal itself. It’s one of the beauties of practicing medicine…watching the body fix itself. That pain you had yesterday isn’t there today. Your muscles are getting stronger because you are moving more. That walk outside makes your feelings of joy sing. Your eyes can see those you love, your ears can hear their voices. We have so much to appreciate.

Who cares what a mirror says? It can’t see inside us. It can’t know how spectacular we really are.  

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daylight savings time
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

Unlocking the Benefits of Daylight Savings Time for Seniors

Daylight Savings Time is more important to us seniors than most of our families know. 

We love the extra daylight because it reminds us that summer’s coming and that we will soon be out of school. 

We, once again applaud Mother Earth for never failing us but bursting forth with new beginnings year after year. 

We know it’s time to grow the garden, plant the seeds, and eat what we so carefully attend to. 

We love the family outings, the cousins we’re going to see again, the aunts and uncles who will visit.  We especially appreciate the secrets we share for we have waited a year to enjoy our picnics together. 

The animals are once again outdoors and we no longer are cooped up inside the barn picking up after them or scraping frozen soil when it’s so cold outdoors. 

And the smells! The first rain of the season. The first grass cutting. The tractors that beam with gas and oil. And the first trees that are full of flowers. 

Why Daylight Savings Time

Yes, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a seasonal adjustment where we change our clocks to make better use of daylight during the warmer months. It's a simple concept, but its impact on senior health shouldn't be underestimated. Let's delve deeper into why DST matters for us and how it can positively influence our well-being.

Imagine Martha, a 75-year-old retiree who enjoys spending time in her garden. During the winter months, when DST is not in effect, Martha often finds herself rushing to finish her gardening chores before darkness falls. However, once DST begins in the spring and the evenings become brighter, Martha can leisurely tend to her garden well into the evening, soaking up the natural light and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of gardening. This extended exposure to daylight helps regulate Martha's circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep quality and overall mood enhancement. Plus, she now goes out after dinner to garden some more and this continues to renew her energy. 

Similarly, consider Jack, a 70-year-old widower who lives alone. Jack used to feel isolated and lonely, especially during the darker winter months when evenings seemed to stretch on endlessly. However, with the onset of DST, Jack notices a positive change in his routine. He joins a local walking group that meets in the park during the extended daylight hours, allowing him to socialize with others while enjoying the health benefits of regular physical activity. The camaraderie and sense of community Jack experiences during these evening walks contribute to his improved mental well-being and overall happiness.

Jack no longer worries about slipping or sliding on ice. He doesn’t notice his arthritis like he does in the cold months. Jack is glad to be outside and the sun warms his soul. 

Super-Agers use DST to their benefit

So, let's explore some specific reasons why DST is important for senior who want incredible health:

  • Extended Daylight Exposure: The primary purpose of DST is to provide more daylight in the evenings, which benefits seniors in several ways. For example, increased exposure to natural light helps regulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep patterns. This regulation can lead to improved sleep quality and duration among seniors, which is essential for overall health and well-being.

  • Promotion of Outdoor Activities: Longer daylight hours in the evening encourage seniors to engage in outdoor activities such as walking, gardening, or participating in community events. For instance, imagine a group of retirees who gather at a local park for evening picnics and games during the summer months. These outdoor activities not only promote physical fitness but also foster social connections and a sense of belonging within the community.

  • Enhanced Mood and Mental Health: Sunlight exposure is closely linked to mood regulation and mental health. Seniors who have access to more daylight in the evenings may experience improved mood, reduced symptoms of depression, and increased feelings of happiness and well-being. For instance, imagine Sarah, an 80-year-old grandmother who loves sitting on her porch swing and watching the sunset. The extended daylight hours during DST allow Sarah to indulge in this simple pleasure, which uplifts her spirits and brings her a sense of contentment.

  • Social Engagement: DST facilitates increased social interaction among seniors, as brighter evenings encourage outdoor gatherings and leisure activities. Whether it's attending neighborhood barbecues, joining a gardening club, or simply taking evening strolls with friends, seniors have more opportunities to connect with others and combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

  • Healthier Sleep Patterns: While the transition into DST may disrupt sleep patterns temporarily, the overall effect can be beneficial for seniors' sleep health. By aligning their sleep-wake cycles with natural daylight patterns, seniors may experience more restful and rejuvenating sleep, leading to improved cognitive function and daytime alertness.

senior freedom club

 

Join the Senior Freedom Club to get the full benefits of super health while aging. Click here to learn how you and your family can age without stress or frustration. 

As seniors, we often remember our most precious moments in life while we were outdoors. We rarely say, “I loved growing up reading a book.”  No, instead, we say. “I loved running the tractor with Dad.” Walking the dog through the fields. Out shopping with Mom all day at the market...

And don’t forget, the biggest treat of all…we got to stay up later because the sun stayed up later, too!

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Healthy Eating Habits for Seniors
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant, Physical Wellness

The Surprising Impact of Healthy Eating Habits on Senior Wellness

Let's talk about something that's truly the cornerstone of wellness: healthy eating habits.

As we age, our bodies go through changes, and it becomes even more crucial to fuel ourselves with the right foods to stay vibrant and energetic. So, let's dive into some nourishing wisdom on how to maintain a healthy diet as we gracefully journey through our golden years. If you want to see more, then get my FREE Senior Starter Guide. Chapter 2 is all about Physical Mobility. 

SIDEBAR:  I have lost 30 pounds at age 70. I did it by getting off the sugar. Was it hard?  Yes, it was awful. Somedays, I wanted to eat my arm! I could not have sugar in the house. Worse were the evenings. After 2 weeks, the yearning died down. I only drank water with fresh lemon (and my coffee). I also realized I had to eat every few hours and I ate small portions. I had all my food planned out ahead of time. If I ate out, I ordered off the child's menu or had a side dish. No more big portions. Never took home food either. Over the holidays, I ate sugar and had to go through the torture of yearning for it for another 2 weeks and then it died down again. So, now I know, it's not worth it to eat sugar. I love what I eat! My dinner is either shrimp or chicken with stir fry vegetables from Costco. My seasoning is Green Goddess. It's so popular now that I can't get it at Trader Joe's because it's out-of-stock so I have to order it off Amazon. 

Here's my suggestions. I prioritized them for you.

Healthy Eating Habits

Prioritize Protein: Protein is the building block of muscle, and as we age, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly important. Incorporate lean protein sources into your diet such as fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. These protein powerhouses not only support muscle health but also keep you feeling full and satisfied. But check with your doctor first about too much protien if you have kidney issues. 

Ditch the Sugar: You have GOT TO GET OFF THE  SUGAR! Sugar is addicting and it will take you up to two weeks to stop craving it. Sugary treats may be tempting, but they can wreak havoc on your health, especially as you age. Limit your intake of fresh fruit.

Stay Hydrated: Hydration is key to overall well-being, so don't forget to drink plenty of PLAIN water throughout the day. Dehydration can sneak up on us, especially as we age, so make it a habit to keep a water bottle handy and sip on water regularly. This will also help you loose weight.

Portion Control: As our metabolism slows down with age, it's essential to practice portion control to maintain a healthy weight. Use smaller plates, listen to your body's hunger cues, and avoid oversized portions to keep your calorie intake in check. The trick here is to NOT fast. You get so hungry you will overeat.  The best plan is to eat every 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. 

Watch Your Sodium: Keep an eye on your sodium intake as excessive salt can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues. Opt for herbs, spices, and other flavor-enhancing ingredients to season your meals instead of relying on salt. Your taste buds will thank you, and so will your heart.

Read Your Food Labels:  If you cannot pronounce the words then do not buy it. Food manufacturers have over 52 names for sugar.  They want to keep you addicted to it. Your best bet is to stay to the outside of the grocery store, eating only those products with 1 or 2 ingredients. 

Color Your Plate: Imagine your plate as a canvas, and colorful fruits and veggies are your paint. Aim for a rainbow of colors on your plate as each hue brings different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the table. Think vibrant greens, deep purples, bright oranges, and rich reds. These colorful treasures not only make your meals visually appealing but also pack a powerful punch in terms of nutrition.

Mindful Eating: In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to rush through meals without truly savoring the flavors and textures. Practice mindful eating by paying attention to each bite, chewing slowly, and savoring the taste of your food. Not only does this enhance your dining experience, but it also helps prevent overeating by allowing your body to recognize when it's full.

Healthy Fats: Say hello to good fats! Avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats that support heart health and cognitive function. Incorporate these fats into your diet in moderation to keep your brain sharp and your heart happy.

Whole Grains: Swap out refined grains for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread. Whole grains are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Plus, they provide a steady source of energy to keep you going strong throughout the day.

Stay Flexible: Last but not least, remember to stay flexible and open-minded when it comes to your diet. Embrace variety, experiment with new recipes, and don't be afraid to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally. Balance is key, so enjoy your meals guilt-free and savor every bite.

You can't outwork a bad food diet

What I mean by this is that going to the gym to work off that piece of cake is not going to do it. There are not enough hours at the gym to work off sugary foods. 

Healthy eating is a cornerstone of well-being, especially as we age.

Remember, it's never too late to start prioritizing your health and well-being. Your body is your temple, so treat it with love, respect, and nourishing foods that fuel your soul. Here's to a lifetime of vibrant health and happiness!

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self-care
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

The Importance of Self-Care: Nurturing Caregivers and Seniors Alike

Caring for a loved one is undoubtedly a noble and fulfilling endeavor, but it can also be emotionally and physically draining for family members who take on this role. Similarly, seniors who find themselves relying on family members for assistance may grapple with feelings of guilt or burden. In both scenarios, prioritizing self-care is not just important; it's essential for maintaining overall well-being. Let's explore some practical self-care strategies tailored for both caregivers and seniors.

For Caregivers

caregivers starter guide

Prioritize Rest:

It's easy for caregivers to neglect their own needs while focusing on their loved ones. However, adequate rest is crucial for preventing burnout. Set aside time each day for relaxation, whether it's through meditation, reading, or simply taking a walk. Carving out these moments of tranquility can replenish your energy reserves and enhance your ability to provide quality care.

Seek Support:

Remember, you're not in this alone. Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups who understand the challenges you're facing. Sharing your experiences with others who can offer empathy and advice can alleviate feelings of isolation and provide valuable emotional support.

Establish Boundaries:

It's important to recognize your limitations and communicate them openly with your loved one and other family members involved in caregiving. Establishing clear boundaries ensures that you can fulfill your caregiving responsibilities without sacrificing your own well-being. Don't hesitate to delegate tasks or ask for help when needed.

Practice Self-Compassion:

Caring for a loved one can evoke a range of emotions, including guilt, frustration, and sadness. It's essential to practice self-compassion and acknowledge that it's okay to experience these feelings. Be gentle with yourself and recognize that you're doing the best you can in a challenging situation.

For Super-Aging Seniors

Super-Ager's Starter Guide

Prioritize Sleep:

Aging bodies often require more rest, so it's essential for seniors to prioritize sleep. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Create a comfortable sleep environment by ensuring your bedroom is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature. Consider relaxation techniques like gentle yoga or listening to calming music before bedtime to promote restful sleep.

Stay Active:

While it's important to rest, staying physically active can also contribute to overall well-being. Engage in activities that you enjoy and that are suitable for your fitness level, whether it's taking a leisurely walk, practicing tai chi, or participating in chair exercises. Regular physical activity can improve mood, energy levels, and overall health.

Cultivate Social Connections:

Maintaining social connections is vital for emotional well-being, especially for seniors who may experience feelings of loneliness or isolation. Make an effort to stay connected with friends, family members, and community groups. Whether it's attending a social event, joining a hobby group, or simply chatting with a neighbor, nurturing these connections can provide a sense of belonging and support.

Embrace Relaxation Techniques:

In addition to physical activity, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Experiment with mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or gentle stretching to unwind and center yourself. These practices can be particularly beneficial during times of heightened stress or anxiety.

Next Steps

Self-care is not a luxury; it's a necessity for both caregivers and seniors alike. By prioritizing rest, seeking support, establishing boundaries, and practicing self-compassion, caregivers can sustain their well-being while providing care for their loved ones. Similarly, seniors can enhance their quality of life by prioritizing sleep, staying active, cultivating social connections, and embracing relaxation techniques. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it's an essential component of living a healthy and fulfilling life, both for caregivers and seniors.

The Senior Freedom Club is for both seniors and family members who want to grow together in joy and happiness as memories abound. Come join the excitement!

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aging wellness
Self Care: Staying Strong and Independant

11 Self-Care Rules Super Seniors and Their Family Caregivers Follow

Don’t take chances with age. 

In the Caregiver's Starter Guide, we address this very thing in Chapters 3 and 4 on how family members need to take better care of themselves while they care for another. 

As seniors enter their golden years, the importance of prioritizing self-care becomes increasingly evident for both the seniors and their families. Aging brings about unique challenges and opportunities, and adopting a proactive approach to well-being is crucial for maintaining a high quality of life. 

Seniors:  no matter your age you can start getting healthier. The body is amazing at fixing itself! See Chapter 2 in the Super-Ager's Starter Guide for simple things you can do every day. You'll be amazed. 

Let’s outline 11 essential self-care practices that seniors should embrace to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health.

Excellent Medical Care

Super-agers have a special bond with their physicians. This didn’t happen overnight. This is a trust they built over the years. They have access to their physician when they need them.  In many cases, their family also knows the doctor and considers them a personal friend. What many seniors do not realize is the best medicine is less medicine.  This means seniors and those who care for seniors take on the responsibility of great health. 

Prioritize Physical Health

The foundation of senior self-care lies in prioritizing physical health. Super-agers know that ultimately, they are responsible for their own aging. Regular exercise, tailored to individual abilities, is essential for maintaining mobility, strength, and balance. Activities such as walking, swimming, or gentle yoga contribute to cardiovascular health and can alleviate joint pain. Seniors should also focus on a well-balanced diet, ensuring they receive adequate nutrition to support overall health and prevent chronic illnesses.   

Foster Mental Stimulation

Cognitive health is a cornerstone of well-being, and seniors should engage in activities that foster mental stimulation. Reading, puzzles, and brain games help keep the mind sharp and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Pursuing hobbies and learning new skills, whether it's painting, playing an instrument, or attending educational classes, contributes to mental agility and a sense of fulfillment.     

Establish a Sleep Routine

Quality sleep is often undervalued but plays a crucial role in overall health. Seniors should establish a consistent sleep routine, aiming for seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. Creating a comfortable sleep environment, avoiding stimulants before bedtime, and practicing relaxation techniques can contribute to improved sleep quality.

Cultivate Social Connections

Nothing is more important than having friends and family to stimulate us. Many families have one member who cares for the senior. This is not enough stimulation for both senior and family members. It is why we see caregivers being told to get help.  It not only gives the caregivers a break, but it also fosters senior growth.

Maintaining social connections is vital for seniors' mental and emotional well-being. Actively participating in social activities, joining clubs, or volunteering not only combats feelings of loneliness but also fosters a sense of purpose and community. Building and maintaining strong social networks can significantly contribute to a positive outlook on life.

Embrace Emotional Well-being

Seniors should prioritize their emotional well-being by acknowledging and expressing their feelings. Engaging in activities that bringjoy, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or practicing mindfulness and meditation, can help manage stress and promote emotional resilience. Seeking professional support when needed is a proactive step towards emotional well-being.

This is also called life balance.  It’s about both seniors and their families taking time to pace themselves, regenerate their energy, and get back to feeling good again. ·        

Regular Health Check-ups

Proactive health management involves regular check-ups and screenings. Seniors should schedule routine visits to their friendly family doctor every 3 months. They can monitor their overall health and catch potential issues early. Addressing health concerns promptly can prevent the development of more significant problems and contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Practice Medication Management

It’s a fact...sorry, but...

Seniors who are not on a lot of medications live longer. Sorry. It’s just the way it is. But aren’t medications good for us?

Look at it this way…seniors who do not take a lot of medications don’t need to.  They stay healthy and therefore do not need the meds. Those who are on over 10 medications have to consult with their doctor on how they can start to get off some of them by doing any of these 11 activities listed here.*

Many seniors manage chronic conditions with medications. Adhering to prescribed medication regimens, understanding potential interactions, and communicating openly with their pharmacist (another personal friend) are critical aspects of self-care. Seniors should take an active role in their medication management, seeking clarification when needed and reporting any side effects promptly.

Financial Wellness

Maintaining financial well-being is crucial for a stress-free retirement. Stress can age us quickly. Family members who care for seniors know this and try to give as little stress as possible to their senior.  They bring in others to help alleviate the stress.

Seniors should review their financial plans regularly, they have sufficient savings to cover healthcare expenses, unexpected costs, and an enjoyable lifestyle. Seeking advice from financial professionals can help optimize financial strategies and provide peace of mind.

Create a Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive living environment is essential for senior self-care. This includes ensuring home safety, making necessary modifications for accessibility, and surrounding oneself with a supportive network. Seniors should assess their living conditions regularly and make adjustments to enhance comfort and independence.

As caregivers, the support can come from phone calls, texts, and emails.  Facetime gives a lot of comfort and support to seniors, even when they cannot get out and about. Growing in popularity is the adult day center, where seniors are coming together, not to be “taken care of” but to socialize with card games, laughter, and lasting friendships.

Continual Learning and Adaptation

Embracing a mindset of continual learning and adaptation is fundamental for thriving in the senior years. As circumstances change, seniors should remain open to new experiences, technologies, and ways of thinking. This flexibility fosters resilience and empowers seniors to navigate the evolving landscape of aging with confidence.

Seniors also have a lot of knowledge to give. They can tutor high school and college students.  We often see super-agers doing this.  We wonder why they “work” but it is never “work to them.  They love sharing with others.

In conclusion, senior self-care is a holistic and proactive approach to maintaining well-being in the golden years. By prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional health, actively engaging with the community, and managing various aspects of life, seniors can enhance their overall quality of life.

This serves as a guide for seniors, but even more importantly for the family caregivers. Starting early is never too late.  As family members watch their seniors age, they can start to evaluate how they themselves want to age.

It is also encouraging to seniors to get this aging thing right so they can be an example to those who come after us. 

*Never just stop taking your medications. You have to always check with your doctor before starting or stopping any lifestyle changes or treatment plans. 

Another article you might like: Healthcare vs Medical Care: Knowing the Difference is Powerful

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