If you are experiencing some kind of life transition, you may be eager to get settled into your new phase. It might be leaving full-time work, or living alone for the first time in years, or having to adapt to new physical conditions. No matter the reason, life changes may be a time to reassess your sense of self and approach to life.
I had a recent conversation with a woman about how to create a revised life that is more fulfilling and satisfying. She asked me how she can know what she really wants out of all the possibilities and her perceived limits. That’s a very good question that requires a thorough response. Here we go!
Knowing is more than what you ‘think’, literally. For example, when I left full-time teaching, I planned to teach courses part-time and enjoy...
First published in SixtyandMe October 18, 2023. https://sixtyandme.com/possibility-mindset/
We know that attention to fitness, stress reduction, having a sense of purpose, and connection with others adds healthy years to our lives. We also know that the years wear on our bodies and endurance. In this article, let’s address the realities of being an older adult. Spoiler alert! Our focus is to notice what is possible, in contrast with what may no longer be within easy reach for us.
According to the National council on Aging, 95% of us over 60 have at least one chronic condition. High blood pressure and high cholesterol lead the pack. Arthritis comes in third. I’m in the arthritis group; you may have one or two issues on your list. If not, time to celebrate!
The happy news is that maintaining an exercise routine, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and enjoying a healthy diet/healthy weight tend to mitigate the impact of...
This article focuses on the transition out of full time work. The ideas also are relevant to anyone seeing 65 as a transition into a new phase of life. Let’s begin by framing the end of a full-time career as simply a transition in a continual sequence of life transitions. We have been through many and know how to do it. Step away from phrases like “final phase, third act, and golden age.” Such language builds an expectation of decline that may not be true for you, and certainly not for many of us.
A recent study by Age Wave (June 2023) found that on average, the concept of “old” for our grandparents was at 60 years and now is 80 years for our generation. I think that calls for a new language and understanding of what our post full-time years are about! Don’t you?
As we navigate the end of full-time work, we often ask...
Many people in the life phase after full-time work use the word “freedom” to describe their experience. When we dig deeper, we find that there are different explanations of what freedom really means to each of us. I am curious about what is true for you.
Freedom may not be how you would describe your life after full-time work and other life responsibilities. For some, responsibilities continue, such as caring for a family member or even raising grandchildren. For others, it may feel as though there is no longer a purpose.
You may have a full life just taking care of your own wellness. For about 30% of our generation of women, loneliness defines this phase. What are some of the words you use to describe what this phase of life is like for you?
If you do identify with the notion that this phase is a time of freedom, stop and reflect on what you mean by that. Is it “freedom...
We are continuing our exploration of the four vitality domains that influence your health span. Who doesn’t love Love – in all its forms!? Reflect on your own network of loved ones and sense of connection or isolation as you read.
Here is the introductory article for a quick review of health span.
Loneliness is associated with early mortality. Loneliness is not about feeling isolated socially; it is a deep feeling of being alone in the world. Some have described our modern-day situation as an “epidemic of loneliness.”
A Canadian study found that 30% of women over 75 feel lonely. The same study found that social connections increase the likelihood of survival in any year by more than 50%. You can easily see the significance of nurturing social connection. We all need community. How do you cultivate your social connections?
We are continuing our exploration of the four vitality domains that influence your health span, now focusing on the area of meaning/purpose and creativity. Isn’t it time to be your own heroine and be/do what has been waiting in the wings?
What brings you a sense of meaning? What gets you up in the morning looking forward to the day? Are you putting your unique talents/gifts to use somehow? Why let them lie dormant? Consider your own sense of meaning as you read!
A sense of meaning, however that manifests for you, is not only essential to quality of life but longevity as well. That is what we mean by ‘health span’ – years lived + quality of life. Research suggests that a sense...
We are continuing our exploration of the Vitality Domains that support our healthy aging. The second of four life areas that influence our health span is mindset. This encompasses our beliefs about aging, optimism, and mindfulness or presence.
As you read the articles, remember to notice your reaction to the different life areas. Allow yourself to hear your inner voice; you may recognize an area or two where nurturing it may well make a difference in your health span! It is time to take the actions that will support healthy aging so we can relish every minute of life.
Read the first article in the Vitality mini-series: LOVING LIFE WITH WELL-BEING AND ENERGY.
Mindset is significant because your assumptions about life and how you...
I’m resurfacing after three weeks of a respiratory virus that sure seemed Covid-like even though I tested negative. I haven’t been sick for a long time; it reinforced just how crucial wellness and vitality are to quality of life.
I could not do any of the things that bring me joy, much less think straight. So, let’s recommit to taking the actions that will influence our health-span so we can enjoy every minute of this precious life.
Well-being and energy comprise the first area for us to explore as we seek to influence our “health span.” It is all about our fitness, diet, managing stress, play and living a life that energizes us.
In a way, this is the most challenging area to influence because we all already know what constitutes a good diet, that we need a good night’s sleep, and that...
CULTIVATING YOUR HEALTH SPAN IS EASIER THAN EVER
I have some wonderful news. It is good for us to focus on the positive when we can.
Do you know that the life areas that bring you happiness, like good relationships, are the very same ones that contribute to your “health span”? Plus, you can begin any time to enhance your happiness and make a difference in the long-term vitality of your life. The earlier the better, of course, and you can make an impact for yourself in your 70s, 80s and beyond. So, let me explain.
What Is Health Span?
In December I attended the Century Summit hosted by The Stanford Center on Longevity and the Longevity Project. In the last few years, there is increasing attention to the fact that we are living longer, for the most part, in developed nations.
This impacts our society on several levels, from health care to the workplace, to how older adults are...
NAVIGATING THE THRESHOLD INTO OUR 60S AND BEYOND
Research about our phase of life increasingly views the 60s and 70s as entering an entirely new stage of life, much like adolescence to adulthood is a stage transition. This certainly contrasts with the view of these years being the end of our societal influence and participation because we have reached the final step of the 20th century “learn, earn, retire” view of life.
But what does this shift to a stage transition perspective really mean for our understanding of this phase of life?
A century ago, by your 70s – if you were still alive – you probably would be experiencing or expecting decline. After all, the life expectancy for a woman in the US was around 55 years. So, being 60 and beyond was a bit of a waiting game. Not so now!
In fact, I just read an article urging universities to expand life-long learning...