Is living a full life only for those who are young? No! A satisfying and fulfilling life does not have to come with an expiration date. Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT). Through Christ, it’s possible to live life to its fullest at any age.
Here are 8 ways to age gracefully and live life fully:
- Make health a priority.
A familiar saying states, “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness.” If living a healthy lifestyle has not ranked very high up until this point, there’s no time like the present to make healthy living take precedence. See the doctor regularly. Make sure to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet. If needed, add supplements. And participate in activities—get a new hobby or take a class—to keep the brain in good shape.
- Build and maintain relationships.
Having solid relationships make a significant impact on overall wellness. If going out is hard, get active on social media. According to Pew Research, one-third of Americans over 65 use social media. Feeling connected to others can ward off loneliness and prevent feeling isolated. New Life Ministries has Life Recovery Groups that meet online and in person. Find one and start building safe relationships today.
- Establish boundaries.
Setting boundaries create healthy and safe relationships. There are three steps to take. (1). Identify the issue. (2). Communicate the boundary. (3). If the boundaries aren’t respected, follow through with consequences. This may be a new experience, but it can have great rewards. A licensed counselor can help with understanding and establishing boundaries.
- Live an active lifestyle.
Exercise is vital. Experts suggest 30-minutes of aerobic exercise each day. If this seems overwhelming, take it one step at a time! Start by taking a 10-minute walk each day; then, build up enough strength to walk for 30 minutes. To be consistent, find a friend or neighbor to walk, swim, or bicycle with.
- Lower stress.
Identify what is causing the stress. Is it a decline in health? Family problems? Mental health issues? Financial struggles? Knowing the root cause of the stress is crucial to figuring out how to eliminate it. Write down the problems and what hasn’t worked to solve them. Talk with a licensed counselor or a coach in the New Life Network to find a solution.
- Stand against mistreatment and abuse.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one in 10 Americans 60 or older will experience abuse. But sadly, most abuse goes unreported. If abuse does occur, report it. Let a counselor, doctor, nurse, home health worker, or social worker know—they are required, by law, to report it. If in immediate danger, contact the police. Keep a record and date of all incidents. Emotional and verbal abuse is harmful, even if it’s not physical abuse.
- Cultivate a deeper relationship with God.
Just as it takes work for couples and friends to keep their relationship strong, developing a closer relationship with the Lord involves effort too. Spending time reading the Bible daily and praying are two must-have spiritual disciplines. Meeting regularly with the body of Christ—the church—in worship, study, and finding accountability with others who share the same faith go far to helping anyone live their best life.
- Plan one thing every day that brings joy.
There’s nothing like having something to look forward to each day. It could be spending time with the grandkids, meeting a friend for coffee, or volunteering at church—whatever it is, schedule one activity a day that brings joy. The benefits of waking up each morning and having something to do are huge.
If aging has been anything but graceful, don’t go through this season of life alone. New Life Ministries has a network of licensed counselors, certified coaches, and Life Recovery Groups to connect with. Please call 800-NEW-LIFE.