How do you remain young at heart for healthy aging?
February is hearth month. It’s a time of year when we are reminded to take care of our cardiovascular health, especially by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Reducing sources of stress and adopting a positive attitude are part of the key elements to enjoying a healthy retirement for as long as possible.
In this article, we will see that being young at heart can be cultivated! And in every sense of the term. Because a healthy, valiant and strong heart is also a heart that vibrates with a thousand emotions, that hasn’t forgotten to laugh or to marvel.
Ignore the injunctions of ageism and remember how light-hearted you were as a child! One of the greatest qualities of childhood is certainly the incredible capacity for wonder. This capacity, no matter your age, is a common denominator among happy people who age gracefully.
This month, why not add a touch of magic to your daily life? Here are all the tips you can easily put into practice to stay young at heart.
Rediscover the pleasure of spontaneity
Don’t sink into monotony. Getting older doesn’t mean losing all fantasy. Spice up your life simply by being the person you have always been!
- Dance in your living room. Put on your favourite music, grab your partner, let yourself go and don’t worry about ridicule. No judgment, just fun.
- Sing in the shower. No matter whether you have any talent or not, the important thing is to belt out your favourite song! It’s so liberating!
- Go out for ice cream. Even in mid-February, why not! Why not treat yourself to an ice-cream cone in your favourite flavour any time of day?
- Make a decision on a whim. It’s the best way to live in the moment, as children do so well. Make a decision based on what you feel like at the moment and only listen to your heart. Trust it, it will guide you.
- Go crazy. Buy something you have wanted for a long time, go to bed at midnight, whatever – but dare to do something out of the ordinary.
- Tell a joke. See the effect around you of a good joke and soak up that contagious good humour.
- Call an old acquaintance. Surprise someone you haven’t spoken to for some time and let them know that you were thinking of them. Chat, laugh and listen to the smile in their voice. It will do you good!
- Today, say yes. Do the exercise of not refusing anything. Agree to do someone a favour, say yes to an invitation, etc. You will see how your day is capable of surprising you.
Multiply the first times
- Greet someone new. Who knows, this simple hello could lead to a new friendship.
- Taste something new. The next time you go to the grocery store, indulge yourself with a new food that intrigues you or with an exotic fruit that you have never tasted.
- Do something for the first time. Discover a place you’ve never been, indulge in a new sport – get out of your comfort zone, no matter how.
- Try a new exercise. You’ve never done chair yoga, gymnastics or martial arts? It’s time to take the leap
Stimulate your imagination
- Colour. Colouring soothes, frees the mind and immerses you in the present moment. Play with colours; don’t censor yourself. Give yourself this time off to think of nothing else.
- Redecorate. Give free rein to your imagination and make some changes to your decor. Rearrange the furniture, paint a colourful wall, hang a new photo, etc. It will bring a touch of wonder into your daily life.
- Spice up your love life. Surprise your beloved with a sweet little note slipped under their pillow, light a few candles at dinner or run a bubble bath that the two of you can sink into.
Go back to childhood
- Eat sweets. It’s the time to spoil yourself with the dessert or candy that will thrill your taste buds. Satisfaction guaranteed!
- Play a game that brings back memories. Get out the cards or a board game for a bit of fun.
- Cook your favourite childhood dish. Take to the stove and cook a family recipe that brings back happy memories.
- Talk to your grandchildren. There is no better way to remain young at heart than to surround yourself with children. Whether it be on the phone or by video conference, call your grandchildren to talk about everything and nothing. They will make you laugh, guaranteed.
Say goodbye to stress
- Breath. Integrate a short yoga or meditation session into your daily routine to lower your stress levels. Regularly take a few long, deep breaths to stay connected to your inner self and your emotions. If you want to stay in the present moment, breathe!
- Deal with a chore that is weighing on you. Something bothering or worrying you? Take action today to fix the problem. You will feel more light-hearted once it’s settled.
- Enjoy nature. Did you know that Japanese doctors prescribe forest walks and tree hugging for their patients? That’s enough to prove the benefits that a getaway in nature can bring. Recall the wonderful memories you have of days spent playing outside and not wanting to go home. Get out and enjoy nature and sharpen your senses, paying particular attention to ambient sounds and smells. Our Sélection Retraite Île-des-Soeurs and Jardin des Sources residences will keep your senses awake.
- Buy flowers. Take the time to admire their beauty and to smell their delicious scent several times a day. Invite plants into your living room and make it a habit.
- Pretend to laugh. Don’t wait until something funny happens in order to laugh. Did you know that by pretending to laugh you will end up laughing heartily? Although this activity may seem counterintuitive at first glance, its effectiveness as a therapeutic aid has already been proven! In fact, laughing increases levels of endorphins, a neurotransmitter and natural painkiller. What’s more, it stimulates the immune system. Indeed, therapeutic clowns regularly visit certain seniors’ residences.
- Take your time. Take a day to slow down. Idle in pyjamas until noon if you want, take a long time over your coffee, read that book that has been gathering dust on the bookshelf or just take it easy. Doing nothing is a lost art and has nothing to do with laziness! It is simply a way to listen to and take care of oneself.
- Get moving. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. No need to run the marathon or impose insurmountable challenges on yourself. The main thing is consistency. Think of the Défi Bougeotte, simple movements that will make the difference!
Bonus tips for the young at heart
- Be altruistic. Give unconditionally: take cookies to a neighbour, treat a stranger to coffee, surprise someone and soak up the happiness you sow around you without expecting anything in return. And why not get involved in volunteering based on your skills? For example, you could give courses online.
- Make a gratitude list. Make a list of the things for which you are grateful and check it regularly to fuel your gratitude.
To remain young at heart and keep your childlike soul, nothing beats cultivating the following qualities:
- Rediscover your spontaneity
- Try new things
- Stimulate your imagination
- Reconnect to the world of childhood
- Adopt proven anti-stress methods
- Develop your altruism
Old age is a stage, and healthy aging involves a whole range of habits that need to be put in place in our daily lives. For this reason, our recreation animators, all certified recreation technicians, have the mission to help you, stimulate you and entertain you with the program proposed by healthyID®.
Healthy aging also means setting yourself new challenges, listening to yourself and living in harmony with others and with nature. So, during this month of the heart, listen to it and make it beat, that’s all it asks!