Navigating Fears of Declining Health As We Seek Fulfillment After 60Apr 07, 2023
In recent blogs, I have encouraged you to analyze your anticipation of the years and even decades ahead as you enter a new phase of life.
What's attractive to you in this phase? What fears and concerns do you have?
Health! Top Attraction. Top Fear and Concern
Interestly, women often share with me that while they are looking forward to taking better care of themselves with more time for better nutrition and more time for exercise, they express that the expectation of declining health is a big concern. While there is a connection between attraction and fear, there is also a disconnect.
For many of us, especially women over the age of 60, the fear that our health will decline as we age is valid. It’s natural to feel anxious about the future and whether or not we can stay healthy for years to come especially when our plans for fulfillment rely on a healthy mind, body, and spirit of vitality. But, let's look at how we can flip the narrative.
Good News! A Reality Check
The good news is that with proactive strategies and self-care practices, it is possible to stay healthy and manage your fears. Let’s look at some ways to do just that.
The first step in managing your fears is understanding why you are worrying in the first place. Is it because of something specific? Are there any particular triggers?
Once you identify what might be causing your anxiety, it's important to check reality and follow up with a plan to address issues, control consequences or make adjustments to accommodate changes, and most importantly, reduce stress levels.
Yes, we acknowledge that our bodies change as we age. We've seen it happen through different phases of our life. However, this does not mean that we have to accept inevitable decline in health or accept disease as normal. To quote Annie Gaudreault, "Disease is not "normal." 1
Small Steps Lead to Big Changes
Taking small steps each day towards better health—like eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly—can help keep your body strong and resilient as you get older.
It takes a commitment to being consistent in using new-found time to plan and prepare nutritious foods - Good Mood Food - and finding activities that are enjoyable, that you can do, and that puts you in the Make a Move Mood.
Other Healthy Habits for Overall Quality of Life and Well-being
- Getting enough sleep helps maintain mental clarity, positive mindset, energy levels, and overall well-being throughout the aging process.
- Spending time with friends and family or engaging in activities that bring joy and awe into your life add to your overall quality of life and well-being. Studies have shown that social support systems have a significant impact on stress levels and can help us cope through challenging times more effectively.
- Develop Positive Age Beliefs. Becca Levy, PhD in Breaking the Age Code2, present research that supports the connection between positive age beliefs with better physical functioning, reduced risk of dementia, and reduced stress biomarkers. In the study, participants with positive age beliefs lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with negative age beliefs.
Developing a Positive Aging Mindset
Examine your beliefs about aging. Challenge the aging stereotypes. Avoid internalizing the narrative that aging is a disease and worse, that it's fatal.
While aging brings on changes that make us more focussed on our health and vitality (and perhaps the general feeling of loss), it doesn't have to be filled with fear. We can be proactive at any age and be awesome at any age if we choose and commit to proactive strategies that meet the uniqueness of our biology and uplevels our self-care - like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, nurturing relationships with friends and family members, and nurturing the relationship with our best self.
When we focus on taking care of ourselves in every aspect of health and well-being, we can create an environment where our health remains strong even as we age. Our bodies (our biology) are magical and will serve us well.
Make sure you prioritize time each week to nurture yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Let's embrace this new stage in life by showing kindness towards ourselves while striving for greater health each day!
References and Resources:
All links have been verified as current and safe as of date published. Please hover on links to verify title accuracy and safety.
- We are NOT "small men"! Lifestyle Strategies for Optimizing Women's Biology After Midlife, Executive Encore podcast with Annie Gaudreault. YouTube: https://youtube.com/
live/H4ZLAE7GF1Q Spotify: https://spotifyanchor-web.app. link/e/UhgJkUQNMyb
- Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well Your Live, April 12, 2022, Becca Levy Phd.
Your Next Steps
- Explore strategies for finding fulfillment after 60. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary call to explore possibilities. On this call, we will get acquainted and discuss what outcome is important to you. I will explain the application process for working directly with me and provide options that might better serve your needs. By the end of the call, you will have a "quick-win" action plan.
- Listen to the Executive Encore podcast. Women Finding Fulfillment After 60!
- Receive Maestro's Encore blog in your inbox with VIP content and specific exercises, self-assessments, and self-assignments related to this topic and to accelerate your emotional well-being and resilience. Start with your 90-Day EQ Mini-Plan or the mini workbook Emotions Drive Performance: Triggers from Thinking to Results - Predispositions, Self-Handicapping, Self-Sabotage
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