The art of aging with grace

You are a work of art. I mean really, think about it. Think of the miracle that you are and all that has gone into making you who you are. Yes, you are a work of art. And just like art you might see in a museum, you age. And thus its important to do as the museum curators and employ methods of protecting and preserving the beauty of who you are. Because we all know that aging is inevitable. So, why not employ some strategies to do so gracefully? It can’t hurt, right?

The human work of art needs to eat right, exercise, get sleep, nurture the soul and manage stress. And the truth is, it is never too late to live this life in a healthier manner, a little more mindfully and with a little more grace. Want to age in a healthier manner and maintain your “art form” for years to come? Here are some ideas – think of these as a strategic planning process for aging with grace:

Number One – This is key – Make the choice. It’s that simple. An easy way to do this is to sit down with pen and paper. Envision what you would like this healthy life to look and feel like. Write it down. Use wording that makes it “already done”. For example, say you want to relax more and spend more time with your family. Perhaps you word it like this: “I feel at ease and healthy and content in my life; I enjoy special times with my family on a regular basis.” You can even draw an image that “out pictures” your happy end of the movie. It doesn’t have to be a Picasso. It could be something as simple as a smiling sun. Keep it simple and pleasing.This is your vision for aging healthy and happy.

Number Two – Once you have your vision, list out those areas of your life where you feel you can live healthier and happier. What do you think are the things you can do to accomplish this vision? Write down those ideas of what you can do. Using the vision example above:

  • get more sleep
  • eat a more balanced diet
  • learn yoga and walk more
  • regularly set aside “me time” – make a date with me!
  • regularly set aside “family time” – make a date with my family!

Number Three – You’ve got your areas to focus on that will actualize your vision, now create your plan to make it happen! Again, continuing with the above example, think of one of two steps you can take under each of five areas. Keep it simple and realistic. For example:

  • Sleep: A. Turn off TV at 10p and read for 1/2 hour before “lights out”. B. Do not drink caffeinated beverages (sodas, coffee) after 6pm.
  • Healthy Diet: A. Drink 4 – 8 ounce glasses of water each day. Make sure I drink one of those glasses first thing in the am before drinking or eating anything else. B. Add lemon juice to my water during the day (detoxifies).
  • Exercise: A. Find a yoga class that is conveniently located with times that work for me or a good online program that I can do on my own timeline. B. Walk our dogs for 20 to 30 minutes every afternoon when I get home from work.
  • Me Time: A. Make an agreement with my spouse/family to schedule our respective “me times”. Maybe it is sitting by the pool on Sunday afternoon for 1/2 to an hour reading a good book. Put it on the family schedule where all can see. B. Support everyone in the family to do this.
  • Family Time: A. Schedule “pizza night” with family to plan some fun simple, easy light and fun family activities. B. Ask everyone to name some “rules of play” that we all agree on, such as, we all agree to set aside this time. C. Put our first event date, time and activity on our family calendar.
  • What you’ll learn when you go through this process is that the more you do this the more natural this will become. You may even reach the point where there is no efforting to bring about such changes into your life. It is a mindfulness process. You are bringing light to an area of your life that you feel needs not just a focused approach but also a thoughtful approach to align with where you are now in your life. It’s a way to age gracefully and live a full, content life. And…ultimately it’s an inside job; it’s up to you.

At Great Atlantic, we have many of the “tools” you can use to live a healthier life – hot tubs and spas, pools and swim spas and a saunas. Why not let us help you keep your “work of art” as healthy and happy? Don’t forget – we just opened our new VA Beach store located at 2129 VA Beach Blvd. It’s our new “work of art” and we can’t wait to share it with you. Come see us!

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