Age is just a number. And there may be more truth to that saying than we had once thought. Research has suggested that, thanks to proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, some of the physical effects of aging may be avoidable. We know that staying active aerobically (which means doing cardio like speed walking, running, racquetball, or cycling) and eating healthy, mostly plant-based foods really can slow down any negative signs of physical decline. But what about the psychological aspect of aging? How can we get our heads in the game in a more positive, uplifting, and youth-reviving way?
The easiest way to get the mental edge on aging is to think like a child. If there’s one key take-away we can learn from our grandchildren, it’s that they’re fascinated by and curious about, well, everything! They explore. They laugh. They love. They have vitality for life. What could be more youth-giving than that?
Have you lost that youthful vitality? To help you get back in the zone, check out the following 20 quick and easy practices that are sure to give you that fountain of youth effect instantly.
As you transition into retirement or empty nester status, now is the best time to do the things you’ve never done before. This could be something as simple as trying out a new hiking trail or trying something more daring, like a hot air balloon ride. Take advantage of your freedom by exploring your adventurous side.
It’s hard to feel down when you’re smiling. The really remarkable thing about smiles is that they’re contagious. The more you grin, the more other people will too.
Have a Gratitude Breakfast
Gratitude begins at breakfast. The start of a new day is the perfect time to reflect on all of the things you’re thankful for. Gratitude is not only a powerful mindset tool, but also a way to improve mental health and happiness. As you sip your coffee (slowly), meditate on all of the simple pleasures you have in your life.
Raise a Glass
Host an outdoor party with friends and pop open a bottle of red. One glass of wine is a perfectly healthy way to celebrate life and all of the good things in it.
There’s nothing more satisfying than giving life to something and watching it grow. A simple herb garden, a raised-bed vegetable garden, or even a few houseplants can offer a feeling of satisfaction as you nurture them and enjoy their beauty.
Pull out your tools and create something with your hands. Build a birdhouse, a dollhouse for your granddaughter, or a thoughtful, homemade gift. The important thing is that it is meaningful. You may be surprised how rewarding a hand-crafted creation can be.
Want to keep that youthful vibe alive? Dialing up the romance is a surefire way to revive that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. No matter your age, romance never gets old. Passion is a powerful way to stay young. Plan a candlelit dinner, or dance the night away to your wedding song.
The power of touch is magical. Besides promoting blood circulation, flexibility, and the flushing away of toxins, a massage just feels so rejuvenating.
Want to feel young? Hang out with those who are. Playtime is the best time to revive joyful feelings of youth. Take the initiative and invite the grandchildren over for a play date.
Join (or Start) a Book Club
Always had a love for books? A book club serves the dual purpose of keeping you engaged with your passion and keeping you connected to others.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Ever wish you could bake? Speak a foreign tongue? Be more computer literate? Whatever your goal or motivation, being a lifelong learner is a great way to fill your days with meaningful activity and keep your mind sharp and active.
Volunteering is a great way to bond with others and give back to your community at the same time. By choosing a charity or cause that is important to you, you can feel personal fulfillment and pride, which translates into a better overall mood.
Ready to record the story of your life? Or just the highlights of your day? Keeping a diary is a wonderful way to keep beautiful memories alive.
Social connections help your cognitive and emotional health stay in top shape. As you get older, it’s more important than ever to engage with your friends or meet new ones by joining a club. Start by looking for an organization that is aligned with your interests. Or join a club that’s set up especially for socializing and networking.
Stay Active Aerobically
You know the drill: engage in physical activity — especially cardio — most days of the week. Exercise offers benefits you can both see (toned muscles, improved health markers) and feel.
Hit the Ballpark
Popcorn. Peanuts. Cracker Jack’s. What’s not to love about baseball? Going to the ballpark for a game may reawaken positive memories from your own youth.
Get a Natural High
Want to experience a natural high? Step outside for fresh air and sunshine. Sunlight encourages your body to produce serotonin, a brain chemical that acts as a natural pick-me-up.
Catch Lightning Bugs
Or eat an ice cream cone with sprinkles…or fly a kite…or engage in any fun and spontaneous activity that you enjoyed as a kid.
Visit an Amusement Park
You don’t have to get on the roller coasters to have a blast at the amusement park. Just take the grandkids and feed off their positive energy. Watch their faces light up as they go on rides and soak up every energizing moment.
Whether you’re 55 or 75, you need to take time to do things for yourself. With so much going on all around, your own needs can get lost in the shuffle. Don’t forget to ask yourself what you want — a bouquet of flowers, a new outfit, or alone time to work on your hobbies. Then, go out and take care of you.