Ageing is an inevitable part of life. And while some people naturally accept this transition and enjoy what it has to offer, others can find it tricky.
But with so many opportunities and adventures to be had, ageing should be an experience that we try and live to the fullest.
With that said, we’ve outlined eight ways to help you to embrace ageing, become your healthiest self, and make your later years a time full of life, accomplishment, and adventure.
1. Prioritise a healthy sleep schedule
Important health-promoting functions such as cell regeneration, tissue repair, and growth also take place during sleep. And studies have suggested that healthy sleep patterns play one of the most important roles in maintaining brain health as we age.
But, for some, getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. For example, research has identified a link between ageing and an increased risk of insomnia – with those over 60 being the most affected.
If you often struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll find plenty of useful information – including how to find the right pillow and mattress for you – over on the sleep and fatigue section of our website.
2. Work on adopting an optimistic outlook
Optimism relates to a person’s ability to remain positive and hopeful in all situations, even in the face of adversity. Many believe that people are born either an optimist or a pessimist – though the truth is that anyone’s capable of shifting their mindset in either direction.
Having an optimistic approach can affect your sense of well-being by making you feel happier and bringing more humour to your life. And optimism is often contagious, so it can also positively impact those around you.
There are various ways that you can begin learning the skill of optimism, including practising gratitude, imagining a happy future, and spending time with positive people. You can read more about these methods in our article; How to learn the skill of optimism.
Mindfulness can also be a powerful tool for focusing on what’s important in life and looking at the world more optimistically. This is because being mindful helps to shift your focus to the present moment, which can help to put things into perspective. For more information, why not read our introduction to mindfulness?
3. Plan for future accomplishments
Instead of telling yourself that your best years may have already passed, a great way to add joy and excitement to your life is to focus on your ambitions and hopes for the future.
According to research, there are some skills that we only develop fully later in life. These include our ability to understand other people’s emotions and to feel properly satisfied and happy with our lives.
Plus, the older we get, the more life experience we have to fall back on. The lessons that we learn throughout life often leave us wiser, and more sure of our priorities.
The opportunities for later life are endless. From professional goals (perhaps you’re ready for a career change?) to fitness goals (are you looking to take up a new sport?) and emotional goals (do you want to work towards achieving better emotional balance in your life?) – there’s so much that you can work towards.
Taking time to think about what you enjoy doing and what you’d like to achieve is a good way to set yourself targets. For example, you might like to visualise your goals and write them down.
Studies have shown that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals simply by putting them on paper. Being able to tick achievements off when you’ve completed them can also create a sense of personal accomplishment.
For inspiration, you might like to check out the personal stories section of our website. From career changes to relocation ideas and breathtaking adventures, you can read about the many ways that Rest Less members are living their later years to the fullest.
4. Arrange regular health checks
As we age, we become more susceptible to certain health conditions. But with so many tests and check-ups available through the NHS, it’s often possible to keep an eye on existing health conditions and spot new ones as early as possible – helping to keep worries at bay.
From eye tests to cancer screening, you’ll find some of the best ways to check your wellbeing in our article; 11 important health checks for over 50s.
Alongside getting regular health checks, practising a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things we can do to look after our health.
5. Explore ways to help others
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, why not explore different ways you can use it to help other people? It’s likely that your life experiences have left you with an abundance of knowledge and wisdom, which could make a real difference in the world.
Not everyone wants help or advice, but for those who do, there are plenty of ways you can be there for them. For example, you may have a neighbour who might be lonely, or a family member with young children who would appreciate even half an hour’s break.
Alternatively, if your strengths lie in offering relationship, career, or even parenting advice, why not consider becoming a life coach? From helping people make tricky decisions and to get more out of life, have a read of our guide; How to become a life coach.
There are also countless volunteering opportunities available which can be a great way to meet new people, give back to your community, and gain a sense of personal accomplishment. We talk more about the benefits of volunteering below, but if you are interested, the volunteering section of our website is a great place to start.
Not only can using your time to help others improve their lives, but studies have also shown that doing so can leave you feeling fulfilled, rewarded, and empowered.
6. Maintain a realistic exercise and fitness routine
Staying active is important for our health at any stage of life. But as we age, exercise plays a key role in keeping our brains healthy, warding off conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis, improving posture, and preventing injuries by increasing strength and balance.
We also become more susceptible to weight gain as we age (due to a slower metabolism), and staying active can play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight.
If you’d like to become more active but haven’t yet found an activity that you love, why not browse the fitness and exercise section of our website? Here, you’ll find information on how to get going with everything from gym workouts to walking, running, swimming, yoga, and dancing.
You might also like to consider joining Rest Less Events, where you can take part in virtual classes. There’s everything from Tai Chi and Afrofusion to classes taught by Mr Motivator himself. Check out the full event schedule here.
Remember, you don’t have to set yourself an unrealistic fitness routine to stay healthy. The NHS advises several short sessions of vigorous exercise combined with some more moderate activity weekly.
7. Follow a healthy diet
We’re all aware of the importance of following a well-balanced diet when it comes to health, especially for boosting our immune system. And luckily, there are many simple diet swaps that we can make to transform how we feel inside and out – without losing taste and flavour.
Adopting a manageable healthy diet can help to boost energy levels, maintain bone health, and reduce your risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. A healthy diet also plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin.
8. Become an advocate for change and consider volunteering
Using your time to volunteer for a cause or charity – whether in your local community or on an international level – can help you to find meaning and purpose in life, and also improve your confidence.
For example, you could consider volunteering at your local food bank, supporting local wildlife, or even start your own fundraiser. You’ll find all of these ideas and more in our article, 17 meaningful ways to help others and give back to your community, as well as in our volunteering guides on the volunteering section of our website.
You can also browse current volunteering opportunities below.
Through volunteering, you’re also likely to meet interesting, like-minded people who might end up being new friends.
If we take a moment to appreciate what life continues to offer us, it can become clear that there are many opportunities and adventures just waiting to be had.
By setting goals, becoming your most healthy self, adopting an optimistic outlook, and helping others, it’s possible that your later years can in fact be the best years of your life. So why not start transforming your attitude towards ageing today?
For more inspiration, you might want to read our article; What are the best things about ageing? 20 honest comments from Rest Less members.
What, if anything, do you find challenging about ageing? And what do you enjoy the most? Do you have any additional tips on transforming attitudes to ageing that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.