While New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but hard to stick with, taking the time and effort to make positive changes only benefits seniors and their caregivers.
Moreover, taking a holistic approach to one’s health often produces the best results. Rather than making resolutions that change just one thing, looking at the wider health of the individual – including physical and mental – allows more impactful resolutions to be made.
Taking this approach produces incredible results. By making New Year’s resolutions that better the mind, body, soul, and spirit, remarkable improvements are made over the weeks and months. It’s a challenging prospect to make and stick with these resolutions but doing so undeniable positive effects – giving even more reason to stick with them.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions worth sticking with this year:
Exercise the Brain
Let’s start with how a resolution can help improve the mind. By making a resolution to mentally exercise cognitive functions remain sharp and in good condition, lowering risks of memory related issues.
Better still, mental exercises that stimulate the mind are generally lots of fun. Think crosswords, Sudoku, reading new books, or even taking a night class or online course to learn something new.
Why not learn a new language? It’s one of the most effective ways to keep the brain sharp and encourages goals to be set and made, all of which are only going to help improve mental well-being.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical well-being is an understandably difficult area for many elderly people. When the body slows down and more aches and pains develop, it’s easy to see why so many of the elderly struggle to maintain physical activity – sometimes they aren’t even capable.
However, even adding a few minutes of physical activity throughout the days and weeks offer numerous benefits. Many common health problems the elderly suffer from become more manageable through regular physical activity.
For example, taking a few water aerobics classes each week could significantly improve muscle and joint health. In no time physical capabilities improve over the weeks and months, opening new opportunities to get outside and enjoy life.
Better still, even small amounts of exercise have a positive impact on the mind. Mental health is closely linked to physical health, so the more you exercise and improve this aspect of your health, the happier and more content you become.
Even taking 10 minutes a day to walk around the block – or even around the house – offer countless benefits down the line.
Try Something New
It’s easy to form habits as we age. We know what keeps us safe and comfortable, yet there are many reasons to try new things for your New Year’s resolution. Rather that commit to a specific thing, simply make the resolution to try anything new.
There are so many fun and exciting things that an elderly person can try to learn that it shouldn’t be difficult to find something that accommodates everyone. For instance, it could be talking to new people or making a few friend, with community centers and local elderly groups being a great place for this.
It may even be something simple as trying a new type of food or drink, volunteering, visiting somewhere new for the first time, or just going to see a new movie – challenging yourself to do new things adds a sense of excitement and adventure to each day.
Reconnect with Old Friends
Elderly people often struggle to remain in contact with old friends and loved ones. Sometimes there is simply too much distance between each other while other times friendships simply fall to the wayside as the years pass by.
But it doesn’t need to remain this way.
There are many benefits when reconnecting with old friends. For one, it offers more chance to socialize, which is important for combating feelings of loneliness and isolation, but it also helps life spirits to reminisce and reconnect with an old friend.
Use technology to help with this. The internet has made it possible to reconnect with people, whether through social media, email, or even video calls and messages.
Getting younger family members to help with this is a great idea too, as it gives the chance to spend time with loved ones – plus you may learn something new too!
Some resolutions aren’t as fun as others, and eating is certainly considered that by many, but it’s still worthwhile to try and improve diet as part of a resolution. Better diet means better health, not to mention feeling more energized! Try something simple like eating more fruit and vegetables, then progress towards eating five of these a day
Start ditching processed foods and introduce more lean meats. Get more fiber from whole grains, try eating more fish for a healthier heart and brain, while cutting down the fat and salt content is also recommended.
Make sure to reward a good of course, as all that hard work deserves some recognition. Also, try slowly implementing these changes, as it makes it easier to stick to the resolution.
Forgive and Forget
Holding onto old grudges later in life is never a good thing. Instead, try to forgive and forget past transgressions, as it lifts a heavy weight off the mind. This also helps to remove any lingering feelings of doubt and regret.
Why waste valuable time holding onto the negatives of past when you could embrace a more positive future?