While we may be a fair way off sitting down with our pipe and slippers just yet, sometimes we can’t help but feel the effects of aging. As we grow older, our faculties tend to diminish and more rapidly so as we hit old age. This can be a scary concept, as the more mature we get, the more often we are confronted by our own mortality. Hearing friends becoming ill, or friends of friends passing away can shake us to the core. These people are our age, and yet we are still here. Why? All this can get us thinking about our spiritual sense of well being and can kick start health kicks and fitness drives. What we need is a more consistent and healthy approach to the aging process.

We all like to think we can stay young. However, the first time you see a gray hair on your temple or the first time you notice a wrinkle around your eye, and there will be a visual imprint of your age. This can be terrifying. However, rather than reaching for the botox and growing old disgracefully, there are some more sensible things that you can do to help you stay young.

Get A New Job

As we age we run the risk of falling into the pit of self-despair. We might cry that we are no longer useful to the world because we’ve hit the ripe old age of forty. This is ridiculous! You are more useful than you ever have been in your life. If you’re feeling a little stuck in a rut and you can sense the danger of a mid-life crisis encroaching, start being proactive and do something different.

Your overbearing boss doesn’t have to have you under his little finger. Start putting the networking feelers out and see if anyone is after someone with your talents or job profile. If you are mobile, check out other parts of the country and go for it. Sometimes, the scariest things that we undertake are often the best things for us.

Brush up your resume by taking some professional development courses, obtain a couple of excellent references and start applying in earnest. Make sure you are specific with every application, and you never use a generic cover letter. Ensure that you tell a firm what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Yes, you might get a few rejections, but keep plugging away at it. Before long, you could have a great new promotion and be earning more money than ever before.

Do Something New

While this can reak of a midlife crisis, having a go at something brand new can be exhilarating. It doesn’t have to be anything adrenaline-inducing like jumping out of a plane or climbing a mountain. Instead, you might fancy heading somewhere a little off the beaten track for your annual vacation rather than heading to a generic sun-kissed beach. There’s only so many all-inclusive resorts you can stay at before you get bored. Why not hike the Inca Trail instead or go whale watching in Finland or see the Sydney Opera House in Oz?

If you aren’t much of a traveler, you can think less of the big spend items and go for something more regular. Perhaps you fancy learning an instrument. If you do, why not take a beginners guitar, cello or piano course. If you fancy taking up a martial art, go to a free karate session. Or perhaps you want to have a go at learning to cook. You’re never too old to learn how to rustle up a great Thai green curry.

Get Healthy

The most important aspect of feeling young is your health. The more niggles you get, the older you will feel. If you’re finding that you can’t hear as crisply as you used to, feel more independent by using hearing aids and get out there once again. The chances are you’ve stayed cooped up indoors for fear of having to say ‘Excuse me’ again and again. You don’t have to worry with a tiny and discreet hearing aid hidden from view.

If you find that your joints are seizing up a little more or you don’t have as much mobility as you once did, consider heading down to the gym and having a personalized session with a trainer. These experts will give you some exercises to help strengthen your joints and keep you more supple. While you might not be training for a marathon any time soon, you can feel healthier and in less pain than before. Don’t bury your head in the sand and always look for a solution to your pain.

Make New Friends

While you might not be the most social person in the world, it’s never too late to make new friends. Heading to dinner parties with pals, going to social functions and joining new clubs to have a go at new pastimes are all fantastic ways to meet new people. Conversing with new human beings and forming meaningful relationships makes us happy and helps release endorphins and dopamine into our bloodstream.

Being social allows us to keep our minds active; this is one of the best ways to stay young. Brain training can be achieved by something as simple as chatting to pals over coffee, listening and trying to solve a problem or trying to be empathetic. Some people find it difficult to maintain relationships. However, a text once a week or a catch-up phone call once in a while shouldn’t be too hard to maintain.

Staying young doesn’t mean having loads of plastic surgery and hair implants. This superficial aspect of youth is tragic and does nothing to maintain your vitality. To truly stay young, you need to condition your body and look after your mental well being. Keep your emotions in check, learn from your lifetime of experiences and enjoy looking to the future in a positive frame of mind.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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