No one disputes anymore that physical or mental activity is good for anyone’s health. A sedentary lifestyle or lack of social contact affects our quality of life in the long term because it reduces our mobility and mental agility.
As the years go by, we are not as agile as we used to be, we are not the fastest to answer a questionnaire, and we cannot always beat our children in games of skill or ingenuity. This is natural, but pride often suffers because no one likes to be left behind.
Also, when we look in the mirror, we have trouble recognizing ourselves and long for the image we had 20 or 30 years ago. The loss of independence and insecurities add up and can damage our self-esteem, even if we hide it from our loved ones.
Studies show that you are not alone in experiencing this problem. Although self-esteem problems can occur at any time in life, they are very common after age 65. The problem seems to be related to the lack of adjustment to professional retirement, wellness, loss of friends or loved ones and physical and cognitive deterioration.
Loss of self-confidence can be the beginning of a self-destructive cycle and when this cycle is not broken, it can lead to depression.
In addition to putting a little humor into the passing years (which is already a great cure for depression), there are other steps you can take to get back to the confident person you were until recently.
1- Self-Esteem and Beauty Go Hand in Hand
There’s no doubt about it: when you look good, you feel good. Sitting around watching TV in your sweats and bathrobe may be very comfortable, but it’s certainly not a way to boost your self-esteem. Get up, wash up and dress like you’re going to visit your friends. You’ll find that your opinion of yourself becomes more positive. And if you have trouble maintaining good hygiene, a caregiver can help you with your personal care.
2- Get Out or Open Your Cave
Age doesn’t matter, people are social animals and if we don’t connect with others, we don’t survive. Literature is full of castaways and hermits, but in real life they would have quickly ended the story.
Come out of your cave to contact old friends or make new ones. There’s always a golf club, poker table or broom nearby. Contact with others feeds you new experiences, introduces you to other realities and points of view, and keeps your mind alert and resourceful.
If you have mobility problems, ask your loved ones to take you on a visit, use phone contacts and social networks to reconnect with those people that life has made you abandon. Who knows if they won’t feel the same way? Someone has to make the first move.
3- More Humor and Less Drama
It’s time to say goodbye to soap operas and Netflix dramas. If you feed yourself tear-filled content, you will spend the day with your mind on the floor.
Feed your mind with good, fun literature. Scour your personal or neighborhood library for authors who have made humor the best art. No one will be afraid because you are laughing to yourself.
On TV, you have channels that only offer comedies and Netflix has a lot of humorous content for all tastes, which they may not show you because you’re always watching dramas. You can also ask a family member to help you find funny stuff.
4- Get the Skeleton Moving
We have no problem if you decide to go dancing this Saturday night, but if it’s too much for you, you can start with simple exercises.
Arm and leg curls, even starting in your chair, will relieve any pain that is holding you back. With each movement, and even more so if it’s done outdoors, your brain begins to secrete serotonin, a hormone whose purpose is to make you feel emotionally good and confident.
When you discover that you can move without as many limitations as you thought and that there is still a long way to go in this world, you will find that you value yourself much more.
5- Eat Rich and Healthy
The truth is that when you do things that you know are good for you, like exercising or eating healthy, you immediately feel better about yourself. Finding the recipes you used to love to make and try, indulging in your favorite dessert, and eating good food made with quality ingredients is a pleasure you deserve to have every day. Who said that over the years you have to get used to junk food?
There you are! With those five tips, you should be improving your self-esteem in a jiffy. What activities do you like to do as a senior? Let us know in the comments below.