Coping with Getting Older

Someone once said that getting older isn’t for cowards. That’s because there’s nothing easy about aging. Your body is going through changes and at the same time, your new normal is shifting.

You may suddenly become an empty nester. You may face retirement. All of a sudden you may be dealing with health challenges.

You may have a get up and go spirit but your body isn’t on board with that.

You might find yourself unable to participate in the things that you used to do with the same ease of movement.

That bothers you because you don’t feel any different emotionally that you did when you were a young twenty something.

Sure, you have more wisdom and probably a lot more money and you’re better established in life.

You feel like you, but you don’t think you look like the inner you. You realize that there are wrinkles on your face.

Your neck is sagging. Your hands have age spots. If realizing this hits you out of the blue, it can be like a slap in the face.

You may be shocked to discover that outwardly, you look older - and question, “When did all that happen?”

For some people, getting older is a time of uncertainty about the future and it can also be a cause of depression because it can represent a loss - the loss of youth, the loss of certain physical abilities, and the loss of what was once normal.

You may grieve your youth and that’s okay. It’s normal to feel a sense of loss. But don’t stay mired in what used to be.

Instead, practice self care by embracing what’s to come and taking care of your physical and mental well being more than you ever have before.

There are many positive aspects of getting older, and focusing on that can help you cope. Realize that now that you’re older and more established, you can do whatever you want.

You don’t have little kids to take care of. You can take off on a moment’s notice and go out of town on a weekend trip.

You can catch a movie whenever you want. You can change jobs, get a job, go back to college, take classes, go dancing, move to a different state, or travel. Whatever you want!

Do what makes you feel fulfilled and happy. Your life can be molded into whatever you want it to be. You’re not too old to head in any direction that you want.

Practice self care by spending time with people who are positive and who make you laugh, and it doesn’t have to be people your age, either.

Embrace this new stage of your life and live it on your terms. Discard anyone’s perception or opinion that you have to slow down or can’t do something because of your age.

Age is just a number, not a controlling factor in how you live your life. That’s up to you.

Coping with a Death

When you lose someone you care about, it burdens you with a tremendous amount of stress. It can spiral your world out of control and leave you floundering to find stable ground.

There is no right or wrong way to go through the emotions, especially grief. Some people cry often and for long periods of time.

Other people push their emotions inward, but are hurting just the same.

You might struggle with grief for years or you may find healing with a matter of months. It’s not a smoothly planned journey through the emotional upheaval brought on by death.

You can take plenty of steps forward, thinking that you’ve finally turned a corner then all of a sudden, you find yourself sobbing because something reminded you of the person that you lost.

Now you feel the same as you did in the beginning - like you don’t know how you’re going to make it through the loss. This is normal.

In the beginning, you might go into shock, which doesn’t allow you to feel much of anything.

Some people report feeling numb in the beginning. Others felt guilt or anger. There is no right or wrong emotion to feel.

Losing a loved one is a trauma and what you need to understand is that the aftershocks of it can mimic the same ones that trauma victims go through.

You can experience anxiety, irritability, mood swings and even nightmares. It’s just part of the process as your body and mind try to deal with and then adjusts to what’s happened.

Over time, the pain that you feel won’t be as sharp. You may still feel sad when you think of your loved one as time passes, but the strength of the emotion fades. Self care is extremely important when you’re coping with a death.

You need to let yourself feel things. Don’t try to quell your emotions. Don’t blame yourself for feeling or not feeling a certain way. Just accept the emotions for what they are - part of the process.

Focus on the good memories you have with that person. Don’t worry if you can’t seem to get it to together.

It’s okay if you’re not able to stick to your once normal routine. It can be difficult to lose someone that you loved but didn’t necessarily get along with.

You may still have lingering feelings of being upset with that person. That’s okay, too. Take the time that you need to grieve.

The best form of self care in this situation is to let yourself grieve in a way that works for you.

Maybe you want to talk about the person. Or not. Maybe you want to do something tangible, such as creating a memorial or planting a tree - or something to honor them, like establishing a scholarship in that person’s name.

However you practice self care at the time is okay. Provide for your health. Try to get the sleep that you need. Try to eat right and make sure you take whatever breaks you need to.

Lean on other people. If you don’t feel that you got closure, write a letter to the lost loved one and say your goodbyes that way.

Coping with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can impact your life, making it difficult to concentrate, hard to work or do the day to day activities that you used to.

But living with chronic pain doesn’t have to be something that takes over your life.

By using self care strategies, you can cope with chronic pain and find some relief. Self care will help you be able to make it through the times when you feel like you can’t make it through one more day.

Understand that you’ll have ups and downs. On the bad days, it can affect your mood and when you get down emotionally, that can make it harder to deal with the pain. Find uplifting songs to listen to that calm your mind.

Don’t bottle up what you’re feeling or what you’re going through. It’s important that you express what it is you’re dealing with.

Some people choose to do this by writing a blog where they talk about their struggles.

Other people write down what they’re feeling in a diary. This is a good way to cope with the stress that often accompanies living with chronic pain.

Trying to tough it out and go through it alone is a mistake.

You might feel like you don’t want to “burden” anyone by what you’re experiencing but it’s important that you reach out to friends and loved ones and let them know.

Even though there may not be anything that they can do, they can listen and offer you emotional support.

Make sure you’re keeping up with your healthy habits. Eat a healthy diet and exercise. You may not want to exercise, especially on bad days, but it really can help because it boosts your mood.

Don’t let bad habits make your chronic pain even worse. If you don’t get enough sleep, this can make pain worse. Don’t focus on what you could be doing if only you weren’t dealing with the pain.

Accept your body for the way it is. Don’t allow yourself to be jealous of people who seemingly have good health.

It doesn’t change anything and it’ll only drag you down.
Hiding your condition isn’t helpful.

It’s okay to let others know that you’re in pain - especially if it’s someone whose life is impacted by your situation. This might be a relative or your boss or your romantic partner.

It’s okay to talk about how you feel, but be careful that you don’t constantly complain. Negativity doesn’t help.

When you’re hurting, you might want to withdraw and just stay at home because it’s easier. This can cause you to start limiting your life.

Don’t let the pain keep you stuck at home and don’t let it make you give up doing the activities that you enjoy.

How did you like this post? If you found this article helpful to you, you may want to share it with others by clicking the social networking buttons – Thank You!

Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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