It’s hard always to put ourselves first. We tend to put the needs of others before our own, especially as we get older. But it’s important to remember that, as we grow older, we need to take care of ourselves—not just physically but emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
We tend to get a bit wiser as we age, but that does not mean we are necessarily smarter. One quality that is too often lost as we get older is self-care, and that can have dire consequences for your overall health and well-being. As people age, they lose some of their independence, become less active, and are susceptible to a myriad of health problems like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Why is Self-Care Important?
Taking care of yourself is an important job. Your body and mind need to rest, recover, and rejuvenate after a day of hard work. Self-care doesn’t have to be a chore, though. It can be anything that makes you feel better about yourself—or simply something you need to do to feel better. No matter what self-care looks like for you, it’s how you choose to make it a priority that will determine your level of success.
5 Tips to Prepare Yourself as You Get Older
Start a bucket list.
Write down the things that you want to do before you die. Write these down on a bucket list. That way, as you get older and grow your bucket list, you will have those things to look forward to.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial to your body. It helps with blood circulation, strengthens your bones and muscles (which will help protect you from falls), reduces stress, and boosts your mood. Exercise will also keep you looking younger.
Eat a balanced diet.
It’s best to eat a variety of foods and focus on foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. As with most things in life, as you get older, you need to adjust your eating habits as your body requires less fuel. As your body gets older, it slows down its digestive process. This means you will need more fibre in your diet and will likely absorb fewer vitamins and minerals. To make sure you get enough nutrients, make sure you get plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Eat healthful snacks.
Small, frequent snacks can help lower blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full. Eating healthful snacks can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent overeating. As you age, you may gain weight, have less energy, experience changes in your vision, and taste food less.
Avoid tobacco and risky alcohol use.
Tobacco use can cause cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. In older adults, alcohol use increases the risk of falls, delirium, and injury.
Looking after yourself as you get older is about more than using the cream in the medicine cabinet. It’s about looking after yourself in both your work environment and your home environment. Many people don’t realize how important it is to be comfortable in their own surroundings. If your home is not set up for you as you get older, it could make you uncomfortable, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re older.
There is a sad truth in life that as we get older, we become less independent. We become dependent on others to help with simple tasks we have to do, help the household function, and be there for family members when they need us. However, there are things we can do to maintain our independence, such as looking after ourselves.