Have you ever had an initial social interaction with someone and come away feeling like you’ve opened up the gates to the land of despair? A well-intended and friendly “Hello/Good morning/Good afternoon, How are you?” can become quite the loaded question if you receive a negative response or if they just ignore you altogether (this happens more where social distancing has turned into anti-social rudeness!).
In contrast, when I greet a client to begin a session and they reciprocate, I always produce a huge smile and say, “I’m doing absolutely fantastic, thanks. It’s good to see you.” This is done with intent.
As a wellness professional, it is my job to set the tone/mood for the session to come. Positive/affirmative responses (even if your reality has you searching for one) will always set the stage for a positive/feel-good experience with this person.
Building on this principle, I am going to share with you my 5 easy steps to feeling great every day, with the intention of introducing some ideas which will refresh your approach to enjoying a peaceful, happy, and productive retirement experience.
In life, we all have problems, challenges, issues, and things which can tap a hole in the bottom of our positive energy barrel. However, remember it is never a situation that determines an outcome – it’s how you choose to handle that situation which determines the ultimate outcome.
Example: As you head out the door to go for breakfast, you discover a flat tire on your car. Your reaction could be one of the following: “Oh great, I’ve got a flat, what a crappy way to start the day! I might as well just skip breakfast because now I have to pay for a tire!” or “Well, at least this happened in my driveway and not on the highway somewhere.”
Keep your glass “half full” and notice that your perspective will shift proportionately. This diminishes stress, anxiety, and negative energy which can repel or bring down others in your world. Another happy byproduct is your opportunity to become an example to those around you (very important if you are a parent or grandparent) and show them that tough situations can still be handled with a good attitude.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Never go to bed angry.” There’s a lot of truth to this. However, anger isn’t the only emotion which should not be left unchecked. Human interaction is perfectly imperfect, and so there is no such thing as a relationship without fault.
This being said, each time we interact with others in our world it is important to manage expectations (retain ownership of your own emotions). Next, never leave anything that should be said unsaid or any good deed undone.
Having a “monkey on your back” will do nothing but drag you down. The caveat to this is, be certain to take the time to process your thoughts and speak intently. At the end of the day, you will feel liberated, peaceful, and prepared to begin another day with a clean slate.
At various stages of life, our daily purposes shift. When we were kids, we endured school and chores so that we could get to our purpose – which was to play and have fun. As adults, we transitioned into going to work to provide a livelihood, and for many, our purpose shifted toward raising quality children and being a good spouse.
Ultimately, it is when we reach retirement that our purpose more rapidly transitions. Initially, it may look like liberation and a time to either do what you want, when you want, how you want, or to just relax, take life easy, and do as little as necessary. Your purpose being to wave goodbye to the timeclock and demands of life accordingly!
However, once the “newness” of retirement settles, it can become quite easy to get into a daily routine of existence rather than experience.
With this, do not let yourself miss out! Each and every day, you should have something of productive substance that you wish to accomplish. Whether this be a craft project, writing, baking something, planning an event, etc. Have an enjoyable and purposeful task that you can accomplish each and every day which will leave you with a sense of gratification and satisfaction.
Once you reach retirement age especially, exercise is much more a function of establishing and retaining resource for purposeful movement rather than expending energy for aesthetics or athletic performance and does not have to be hard to be effective. It just needs to be right!
As you approach the years after 75, daily living without exercise can become extremely difficult and often impossible without assistance. The price being extremely high in:
- reduced quality of life due to inactivity,
- loss of independence and dignity (toileting, dressing, feeding, transfer, etc.),
- increase in the instances of illness due to diminished immune function,
- increase in medical and healthcare expenses,
Falls are the number one cause of serious injury to seniors of this age group, and 1/3 of those falls produce fatal injuries!
A well-structured exercise program which is followed daily should include: lower body strength/power training, upper body pulling strength, shoulder range of motion, multi-dimensional core strength (postural support), and balance/agility exercise.
When done at an appropriate intensity, this programming approach also elevates the heartrate enough to provide baseline cardiac conditioning training which can be supplemented by activities such as walking, biking, hiking, swimming, aerobics, etc. to optimize heart health.
Just remember that at this stage of the game your daily exercise is a tool, not a task! If you’re not currently exercising regularly, now is the easiest it will ever be to get started!
The value of kindness and compassion never diminishes, and when you invest in the happiness of others, you will yield appreciable dividends eternally. This can be done with simple affirmations and acknowledgements for the achievements of others all the way through philanthropy and “paying it forward.”
It feels good to go through a drive-thru and see a mom with a car full of kids behind you and you tell the person at the window, “I’d like to cover their order too.” Maybe they need the help, maybe they don’t; however the token of kindness from a complete stranger will have the most value to them and sense of satisfaction for you.
If you have children or grandchildren take the time to know what is going on in their world and extend your gracious approval and encouragements for the good things that they have accomplished. Your consistency in this will drive them to do more, and they will never forget you for it. This also allows for you to share in their joy, bringing happiness and a smile into your heart as well.
This could also be done in running an errand for your less capable neighbors, sweeping their section of sidewalk along with yours, sending an edible-arrangement to a widow or widower on Valentine’s Day, etc. Let your heart be your guide and seek the opportunity!
In conclusion, always remind yourself that “Life’s too short for a bad day” and live accordingly!
Wishing you the best in happiness, peace, and good health!
What do you do to make sure you feel great every day? Are there specific situations that seem to dim your mood? How do you handle those? Which emotions are the most difficult for you to deal with?