It’s hard to believe that a new year is here! This is a great time to set some intentions for yourself on how you would like to live your life. Leading a life with purpose and intention can make you feel more fulfilled, happier and positive. Older adults often feel that they lose a sense of purpose after retirement, but living with purpose does not have to end. Here are some ways that you can find purpose in this stage of life and make 2023 a purposeful and active year.
1. Eat Well
March is National Nutrition Month, a perfect time to learn about healthy eating habits. Take the steps to make intentional decisions about eating well and fueling your body with a balanced, nutrient-dense diet is critical across the lifespan, helping us feel out best and reduce our risk of chronic diseases. At Berwick, every meal is a social occasion which is why residents and their loved ones look forward to a culinary experience that feels as personal as their own home cooking that also offers & encourages healthy eating habits.
2. Move your body
A body in motion will age better than one on the couch. Consider these tips for exercise as you age. We have so many Berwick fitness classes of all types and levels, from chair yoga to Pilates, Zumba, Barre, Aqua Fit, Tai Chi, Pickleball, Ball Drumming and so much more. We’re constantly amazed at how strong and active the Berwick residents become by participating in the wide variety of our fitness classes.
Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance. Science is showing that regular meditation can improve our health as we get older and can show a significant improvement on attention, memory and verbal fluency. Studies also found that meditation can positively impact insomnia, anxiety, and heart health.
Mindfulness and meditation are regular programs on our active living and wellness calendars.
4. Pursue a new hobby
Learning a new language, enrolling in a college course, learning about wine, diving into digital photography, joining a choir group, channeling your inner artist! Whatever interests you, say ‘yes’ to doing something you’ve always wanted to do. If you want to improve your chances of aging well, consider exploring a new hobby. Sign up for that pottery class you’ve always wanted to take. Join a creative writing seminar. Take up photography, knitting or painting, and join a group of fellow artists to improve your social network and to share with others the exhilarating feelings of creating art.
5. Indulge in new experiences
Older adults can learn multiple new skills at the same time in the right environment and with the right beliefs, and doing so may improve their cognitive functioning considerably. We have seen residents come out of their comfort zones, and observe that they feel fearless about new challenges. Berwick’s Active Living Teams heavily focus on providing a variety of ways for residents to indulge in new experiences during regular programming.
Having a purpose in life may help people maintain their function and independence as they age, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry. People in the study who reported having goals and a sense of meaning were less likely to have weak grip strength and slow walking speeds: two signs of declining physical ability and risk factors for disability. Purposeful living has already been linked to other aspects of wellbeing, like a longer life, lower risk of disease, better sleep and healthier behaviors.
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