To age holistically means attaining a balance between all parts of yourself rather than being off balance. The term “holistic” comes from the Greek “holism,” which means all, whole, entire, total.
A holistic philosophy encompasses the entirety of an interdependent system. It recognizes that each aspect has an effect on the whole; that individual components do not function in isolation. Everything affects everything else.
You may want to check how you are doing in each of the following areas: Intellectual, Social/Emotional, Physical and Psycho/Spiritual.
Don’t try to do everything at full tilt, but rather seek to find a balance between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ – and pay attention to your body and your spirit. Remember, one of the biggest gifts of retirement is that most of us can choose how to spend our time.
Here are some possibilities, many of which have been proven to extend life by assuring good physical, mental and spiritual health:
- Read books, both fiction and nonfiction.
- Do math puzzles, crossword puzzles, and other puzzles.
- Read the newspaper and discuss the news with others.
- Take courses online or in person (Seattle-area seniors can take courses at the University of Washington for $5 provided there is space).
- Go to interesting lectures at venues for arts and letters.
- Write letters supporting causes you care about.
- Spend time with other people (very important to good mental health).
- Mentor someone younger.
- Volunteer to do something good in your community.
- Spend time with grandchildren.
- Be active in various organizations such as women’s or men’s clubs.
- Laugh every day.
- Start conversations with strangers.
- Give hugs to people who are receptive.
- Smile a lot.
- Connect with family members and old friends.
- Heal any relationships that need healing.
- Walk or do equivalent exercise 30 minutes per day.
- Eat healthy foods, avoiding processed foods.
- Drink alcohol in moderation if at all.
- Drink four to five glasses of water every day.
- Get 8 hours of sleep per night if possible (nap to make up for lost sleep).
- Spend time each day walking in nature, or simply sitting and looking out your window.
- Build or create something.
- Do arts and crafts, music or dance.
- Meditate or pray (this can be guided by books of daily reflections).
- Journal – reflect on your life and lessons learned.
- Forgive those who have wounded you and forgive yourself (this can be done with the help of a therapist).
- Belong to a Wisdom Circle.
- Develop a gratitude practice.
- Express joy.
- Step into grief as you need to.
- Do something for someone else.
- Be a blessing to others.
May this time of your life be lived with balance, joy and intrigue.
May you learn something new each day.
May you be a blessing to others and to the world.
May you celebrate a life well lived.
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