Every January marks a clean slate, a new chapter, a fresh start. It’s like turning the page of a cluttered, note-filled journal to a crisp, blank sheet of paper ready to fill up. There’s something refreshing about knowing you can close the door on 2018 and focus on a happy, healthy 2019.
What do you hope for the coming year? If you’re thinking about setting a New Year’s resolution (or a few), the key is maintaining the motivation you feel right now. Don’t let your resolutions glow bright in January, then simmer out come February. Choose a few goals you can actually keep year-round.
New Year’s Resolutions & Healthy Aging Tips for Seniors
Not sure what to work towards this year? Consider one of these top New Year’s resolutions to add to your list for a happy, healthy year:
Resolve to make new friends.
Socialization is so important for health. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul. When you have friends and family who bring you joy, laughter, encouragement, confidence, and motivation, you’ll live a happier life. Isolation has been seen to promote depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in seniors, so set a goal to make a new friend or two this year.
Resolve to try something new.
Making new friends is more likely if you get out of your comfort zone and try something new. For example, why not try the new fitness class you’ve heard about? Even if you don’t like the actual workout, you may hit it off with someone in the class. Or you may find you love the workout and decide to incorporate it into your lifestyle. Both are wonderful outcomes that are worth the extra effort.
Resolve to laugh more.
There are so many reasons laughter is good for you. It can lower blood pressure. It reduces stress hormone levels and releases feel-good hormones. It works your abdominal muscles. It improves your cardiac health. And it produces a general sense of well-being. It may seem simple, but try to be more care-free and joyful this year. You’ll be amazed how good you feel.
Resolve to eat less sugar.
Sugar is overtaking our diets. It’s hidden in so many foods – many that we don’t even realize, like bread. One way you can make a major impact on your health is to cut back on the sugar in your diet. Eating less of the sweet stuff can lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, reduce risk of obesity which reduces risk of heart problems, keep your brain sharp, and even reduce risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression.
Resolve to take care of yourself.
Be selfish this year. What we mean by that is make an extra effort to do what you need to do for your own well-being. Schedule those routine doctor’s appointments and stick to them. Listen to your doctor’s advice and be diligent with your medications. Pay attention to your mental health as well as your physical health. When you need a break mentally or physically, allow yourself to take one. Or focus on staying active over the winter to maintain your health.
Resolve to eliminate stress.
Think about the major stressors in your life. What are they? And can any of them be reduced or eliminated? For example, if maintaining your home or yard are getting more and more difficult, you may want to consider moving to a senior living community where those tasks are taken care of for you. Or if you’re stressed about your parent needing help on a daily basis, consider assisted living facilities for their needs. It’s time to be strategic about what stresses you out and work to resolve it.
Think about all of the positive opportunities for change that await you. This is your year. Make the most of it by making informed, healthy, and wise decisions. And from all of us at Immanuel Lutheran Communities: Happy New Year.
Immanuel Lutheran Communities offers a variety of health services when and where our residents need them, including assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and memory care. No matter where you are in life, we’ll be here with professionalism and kindness when you need us. Learn more about the senior living lifestyle at Immanuel Lutheran Communities today.