Aging Gracefully

Perhaps this blog post should be titled "Tips for Staying Vibrant as You Age," because I don't know many women who walk around being all that graceful or dream of being more graceful as they age. Most of us are living large, living loud and intend to make the most of our lives up until the end.

But if we want to do all these things, we have to have a healthy body and the energy to sustain us. We must take better care of our bodies, minds and spirits starting now. Massages, pedicures and weekends at the beach aren't going to cut it. Sorry! 

Fortunately, the yogis and the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda lend us their wisdom for longevity and vitality. Ayurveda philosophy reminds us that we are a part of nature.  We are made of the same elements as the natural world. God did not create this beautiful world and then plop us down on it like little Lego people. We came from it, belong to it and are therefore inseparable. 

Disease and dis-ease arise when we do not respect this fact. When we go against the natural rhythm of life. When we row our boat upstream versus going with the flow. (More on this topic later...) And health, vitality and longevity are ours when we align ourselves with the rhythm of the natural world around us. Think: sleep when it's dark, arise with sun. Respect the seasons and adjust your diet and activity level to align with them, etc.

Check out these tips from me and from yoga and Ayurveda for Aging Gracefully (or Wildly if that's more your style.)

  • Visualize yourself in perfect health as often as possible. Get a feeling sense of how this healthy person (you!) feels, acts, looks. Let this internal feeling guide your choices and your actions throughout the day.
  • Be honest with yourself about your current state of health and the effects on your life. Minimizing your symptoms or ignoring them does not help. Wise action can only be taken when you are honest about what you are dealing with.
  • Align your daily rhythm with the natural world. You are not separate from that out of which you arose. Eat seasonally. Respect the cycle of day/night. Adjust your activity level to the time of day and the season. Aim to restore balance when your habits are out of alignment.
  • Eat an Earlier, Lighter Dinner. Your body is not made to digest heavy food at night. When you eat heavier and later, you burden your body and rob it of it’s energy to repair and restore. Eat earlier and lighter and you’ll sleep better, wake lighter and feel energized.
  • Go to Bed Earlier. When you eat earlier, you’ll be ready for bed earlier. Aim to be asleep by 10pm so your body can use that time and natural energy cycle for repairing and healing your body and mind. Develop a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep easier and sleep longer.
  • Start the day with Quiet Reflection. Begin each day by connecting to the larger Universe, Source or your higher self. Take time to connect with your breath and your body. Practice gratitude. Pray. Journal. Set your intention for the day. Starting the day with quiet reflection will help you make conscious decisions regarding food, stress level and daily activities.
  • Maintain Social Connections. Studies show that people who are socially connected live longer, happier lives. Invest in your friendships. Prioritize time with others. Join a club or community. Commit to staying connected to you the people around you.
  • Use it or lose it. Your brain that is. The more you challenge your brain, the sharper it stays. Play games, do crossword puzzles, read challenging material, build new habits.  Have lively debates. Think of your brain like a muscle in your body. If you neglect it, it becomes soft. When you make it work, you strengthen it. A healthy brain is key thriving as you age.

If you want to have a conversation about your personal wellness goals, call or email me. I'd love to schedule a time to talk by phone or in person. Together we can explore where you are now, where you want to be, and the best plan to get you there.

lael@laelpetersen.com                  503.313.4802                   www.laelpetersen.com