With Valentine’s Day, you might turn your attention to a significant other.
But what about loving yourself?
That’s a foreign concept to many people over 50 who spent decades caring for spouses and children – and who remember a time when people, in general, didn’t talk about their needs as much as we do nowadays.
But self-esteem and staying positive are key to our health as we mature.
So, let’s take a moment and share these Top 10 steps for self-love, self-care, self-esteem… Pick the word you’re comfortable with – and join us!
- Maintain your physical health. Countless studies prove that exercise is the miracle drug when it comes to aging. It’s good for our brains, heart, bones, and mood. It lowers our risk of falling – and of developing dementia. The list goes on.
- Maintain regular health appointments and hygiene. Don’t miss checkups with the family doctor, eye doctor, or dentist. Take medications as prescribed. Practice good hygiene, even on days when you’re not planning to see anyone.
- Keep up appearances. If you always liked wearing makeup and doing your hair every day, there’s no reason to stop. If you’re happy pulling your hair back in a ponytail and facing the world with your natural beauty, then keep that up, too. Be you — as vain or as plain as it might seem to others.
- Socialize. Meet new friends at the gym. Maintain ties at your house of worship. Pick up the phone and let someone know you’re thinking of them. Take a pal to lunch.
- Eat right. After 50 or so, our bodies and lifestyles change so much. We need to eat the right amounts of good food every day and pay special attention to protein, fiber, and water.
- Volunteer. Giving our time gives us purpose, and reminds us of how much we have to contribute.
- Keep doing what you enjoy. If you’ve always liked to golf, then keep golfing! If you’ve always enjoyed the garden, keep gardening! Getting older doesn’t mean we let go of what we love. But we do need to deliberately work to maintain our strength, stamina, and agility to enjoy our sports and hobbies for as long as possible.
- Practice gratitude. Look at all your blessings and embrace the present moment. Not everyone has your abundance.
- Smash stereotypes. Do something at least once a week that you’re not “supposed” to do at your age. Like lifting weights! And posting a photo on Facebook. (That’s a twofer!)
- Treat yourself. How many times did you buy something for another person because you thought he or she would enjoy it? Do the same for yourself now. Start with new workout shoes or shirt to remind you to move. And on Valentine’s Day, if that means making yourself a chocolate cake with red frosting, then enjoy!
Let us show you how to love yourself with exercise – safe, effective, and fun!
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.