Inside Retirement – Solutions for Seniors By Bill Storie

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Part 4 – Keeping Well

The word “Wellness” is often over-used by some, but mainly under-used by most of us. Part of the reason is that we perhaps don’t really understand what it means.

In most cases it refers to Health. But truthfully it is much wider than that. It means taking care of yourself medically, mentally and psychologically. Being “under the weather” means that you are not well. Fine. But, if you are depressed or upset about something then similarly you aren’t well. There are so many angles associated with wellness that one paper will barly scratch the surface, but here goes :-

  1. Medical condition. Let’s get the health issues out of the way early. If you have some medical condition and are attending your physician or are on medication then you are under due and proper care. So, not much to say specifically about your heath, apart from the fact that it probably is the cornerstone of overall wellness. So, pay attention to the medical advice.
  2. Eat properly. Perhaps the biggest contributor to overall wellness is what you eat. “You are what you eat” as they say. If you persist in eating junk food, particularly as you age, then don’t be upset with the drop in wellness. You know better. Yes, it’s ok to have dessert now and again, or French fries etc, but as long as you understand the impact these foods will have on your body long-term, then the odd splurge is perfectly acceptable. So, be careful what you eat.
  3. Sleep. It’s a known fact that as we age, we tend to think that we sleep less and therefore a lack of sleep is just an “age thing”. Not so. It may indeed be the fact that your sleep patterns are all over the place these days, especially since you retired, but that is no excuse for not wanting to get as much rest as possible. Quality sleep is far better than quantity sleep.
  4. State of mind. From time to time we all have issues that annoy us, or trouble us, and they just don’t seem to go away. It’s not unusual. It’s life. Clearly, the less turbulence you have in your life the better state of mind you will be in. But, if issues persist then you must do your utmost to cast them to one side and not let one issue control your entire life. Talk to a friend or loved one (unless they are the problem .. !!) and share the burden. It works wonders at times.
  5. Happiness. So hard to find sometimes yet so valuable when you find it. We can’t always be bouncing up and down with joy. Life just isn’t like that. But there’s no harm in trying to find happiness, especially in your retirement years. If you can’t be happy now, then when will you be happy..? To some extent, don’t be bothered with what others think of you. If you want to go climb Mount Everest (and you’re able) then go do it. If that’s what makes you happy, take a swing at it…. It will significantly improve, or increase your wellness levels.
  6. Finances. There’s no doubt that a lack of money can be a huge negative influence on your wellness. If you go to bed at night worrying about where the money is coming from, then clearly your wellness will plummet. There’s perhaps no quick fix to your problem and short of taking part-time work for example, there may be no solution at all. So, being at least aware of the impact it has on your well-being is maybe the best acknowledgement you will find. You are not alone.
  7. Active Aging. You may not like to exercise. You may not even like to walk much. But it is critical that you try your best to maintain some forms of physical and mental activity. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is maybe true. However the thought of running up and down stairs at home just has no appeal. Fine. But stand up and walk around or go out in the garden. And above all else, make sure you keep working your brain.

So there you are.

Hopefully some thoughts will trigger your mind to trigger itself. Staying mentally alert is critical to your over well-being and happiness. It is NOT something to avoid or ignore…. it is something you CAN do something about.

by Bill Storie

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