Then it is time to take the best possible care of yourself so you will be able to minimize the number of medications you have to take!
1. Try to do the things you know are good for your health like:
A. Eating right
B. Getting enough rest
C. Not smoking
D. Drinking alcohol in moderation only
E. Getting appropriate exercise (“appropriate” meaning what your physician says is good for you according to what your current medical problems may be).
F. Socializing with positive people
G. Doing enjoyable activities
H. “Getting off your chest” things that are bothering you to someone who you feel is truly listening (e.g. family member, friend, neighbor, counselor, etc.)
I. Reducing your stress through relaxation exercises, calm music, hot baths, or whatever works for you.
2. AND, TRY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND-SET ABOUT YOUR AGE!
Yes, you can do what we therapists call “self-talk.” After a while you will find you get convinced that you should not accept what society says about people your age — whether that age is 65 of 75 or even 115!
Yes, society has us labeled “old” and “senior” and “elderly” and “golden-agers.”
WHAT WE ARE IS JUST “OLDER” PEOPLE! We are not “used-up” and incapable as the words above make us sound. We have SO much to be able to receive and to give — even if we happen to have some shortcomings due to medical problems.. One good thing we probably have is something younger people have not yet learned — how to work around our shortcomings, how to adjust to change and “make lemonade out of lemons,” accomplish and enjoy despite having less than perfect eyesight, hearing, mobility, or ability to eat all the foods we used to eat, etc.
THE PROBLEM IS WE ACCEPT THE LABELS AND THE ATTITUDE THAT WE HAVE BECOME “LESS.” The words above need to go! Let’s fight allowing people to refer to us as “elderly,” “old,” etc. Just tell them to refer to you as “older.” If others use judgmental words about our age it is easy to accept that judgment about ourselves.
Most of you probably find laughable, as I do, that AARP sends it’s literature to 50 year olds. They contribute to our beliefs about 50 year olds being old. We are living in a different time. Fifty-year olds are the mainstream of our society. They may run just a little slower in those marathons they run than they did 30 years ago but they are for the most part the most gorgeous and handsome, sexy, productive, admirable people around. They are like the 30-year olds of the last generation (despite the fact that their hair may be greying).
SO I IMPLORE YOU — DON’T ACCEPT THE LABELS. Words can create attitudes, feelings and behaviors; if you accept words that diminish you it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are a vital, important person! What’s in a name? A LOT!!!