There are so many positive elements to getting older. You will be more in tune with yourself, more likely to be assertive in terms of what you will and won’t put up with, as well as having better self-awareness. You’re more in tune with other people’s emotions, giving you insight and improving your social skills and interactions with friends and family.
There are also some downsides – there might be few things happening to your body that, if you’re aware of, might not come as such a surprise. Below, you’ll find some common things that might start to change, both good and bad, and some which might already be happening without you noticing. There are techniques to try which might alleviate some of these signs (if you have any) and allow you to continue living your life exactly as you want to as well as concentrate on the exciting new doors which are opening for you.
You may find that your appetite is starting to decrease. This is a very common aspect of growing older – your sense of smell and taste can change which means that food you once really enjoyed has become unappetizing. Try having smaller meals more regularly. Not only might you find that this is actually a way of eating you prefer, but it can be better for your metabolism as well. You can also experiment with more intense flavor combinations – spices, rosemary, garlic, and flavored oils will all give you a brighter taste palate.
You might have less sex than you did when you were younger, but it’s more likely to be better! According to research, women over 80 are more likely than those between 55 and 79 to say they are satisfied with their sex life.
No one likes to think about losing their hearing and, let’s face it, there used to be a certain stigma around a hearing aid as a very obvious and bulky contraption tucked behind your ear. Now though, hearing aids have been revolutionized. You can learn more about hearing aids and how they have changed and could make it easier to participate in the world around you.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about getting older and sleep disturbances. Although you might find you wake up in the night more so than you did before, older people are more likely to report having had a good night’s sleep. You also could turn into a morning person! Getting older often means feeling tired earlier but getting up earlier as well. If you’re having trouble sleeping though, it’s worth thinking about changing pillows or mattresses to find something that eases you into a good night’s sleep.
Flexibility is so important throughout your life, but particularly in maintaining ease of movement as you get older. It can help manage lower back pain and arthritis and, if you’re working on a technique like yoga, often you’ll find that your core strength improves as well. Having a solid core will decrease the chances of developing back pain and help your movements. Find What Feels Good is a great starting point, with videos and tutorials for complete beginners through to those who might be more advanced.
Remember, retirement is your choice and your employer shouldn’t force you out if you don’t want to go. A job that you enjoy, whether from the social interactions that come along with it, or the job itself, can keep your mind and memory agile for many years. If you want to retire, consider adding something into your life which gives you a sense of routine and purpose. It might be a club that you attend regularly, exploring a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the time to pursue up until now, or it could be volunteering. There are many historical sites that are regularly looking for volunteers and so you can pursue an interest and expand your knowledge at the same time.
It’s not just your physical body that you need to look after. Working and maintaining some sort of routine is very useful in keeping your mental health active, but there are other things to look out for. Just like your body, keep your mind active with reading and puzzles. There are many brain training apps for your smartphone or tablet. As well as this, challenge yourself to read a more difficult book, and keep up to date with current affairs. All of this will keep you feeling engaged and motivated as you get older.